Bay Ridge Merchants look to hold six Summer Stroll dates
The Fifth Annual Summer Stroll on 3rd will be spread across six nights, not four nights as in years past, if the event’s sponsor can successfully convince the Department of Transportation (DOT) to expand the popular street fair.
The Merchants of Third Avenue business group, which has been sponsoring the Summer Stroll on 3rd since 2012, plans to ask DOT to allow the outdoor event to be held on six Friday nights — July 15, 22 and 29, and Aug. 5, 12 and 19 — this year.
“We’re aiming for six dates. The permits have been submitted to the city. DOT has to approve it. It also has to go through other city agencies,” Event Coordinator Ilene Sacco told members at a Merchants meeting at the Cocoa Grinder, a restaurant on Third Avenue, on Feb. 22.
Sacco, a lawyer who serves as president of the 68th Precinct Community Council, is assisting the Merchants in the planning of the Summer Stroll.
The Merchants group issued the same request for six dates last year, but was turned down by DOT, which restricted the event to four nights.
Summer Stroll on 3rd is part of DOT’s Weekend Walks program, a project in which the agency allows business groups to close streets to vehicular traffic to create pedestrian plazas.
In Bay Ridge, the events feature outdoor cafes, concerts by everyone from acoustic guitarists to opera singers, dance performances, Bingo games, scavenger hunts, fashion shows and other forms of entertainment.
In the past, the events have been held in two sections — from Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) to 80th Street on two nights and then from 80th Street to 90th Street on two nights.
The artsy ambience attracts visitors from near and far, according to Merchants Executive Secretary Charles Otey, who said the previous Summer Stroll on 3rd events have proven to be highly successful.
Summer Stroll on 3rd has served as an excellent vehicle for storeowners to promote their shops, he said, adding that residents from hipster enclaves like Williamsburg come south to Bay Ridge to enjoy themselves, he said.
“This is the biggest thing to hit Bay Ridge in decades,” Otey told Merchants members at the meeting.
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