Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge festival promises food, music, excitement

June 2, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Michael Arkous and Anita Mercado munch on delicious corn at last year’s festival. Eagle file photo by Paula Katinas
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Bay Ridge is the place to be this Sunday if you like food, live music, dance performances and pizza-eating contests.

The Fifth Avenue Spring Festival takes place on Sunday, June 5, from noon to 6 p.m. along Fifth Avenue from Bay Ridge Avenue (69th Street) to 85th Street.

Sponsored by the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), the festival is like a giant block party where people can taste great food from all over the world, hear talented bands in concert, see lively dance performances, go on rides and buy everything from T-shirts to books at discount prices at sidewalk sales.

The BID is a public-private partnership representing the interests of property owners, merchants and residents on Fifth Avenue between 65th and 85th streets, one of southwest Brooklyn’s premiere shopping strips. The BID uses members’ money to plant trees, install benches, sweep away litter and generally beautify the avenue to attract customers so that storeowners can benefit and the local economy can improve. Like all BIDs in New York City, the Fifth Avenue group works in close consultation with the Department of Small Business Services.

The festival will also feature pony rides, belly dancers, sausage stands, dunk tanks and a lot more.

A highlight of the festival is sure to be the 12th Annual Pizza-Eating Contest at Rocco’s Pizzeria at 7818 Fifth Ave. at 1 p.m.

The hungry contestants, who qualify to enter the contest by eating an 18-inch pie in eight minutes or less, will have to eat as many slices as they can in the space of 12 minutes.

Rocco’s Pizzeria Owner Dan Loccisano told the Brooklyn Eagle last year that there is no cheating allowed. “They have to eat the whole pie, even the crust!” he said.

Last year’s winner, Geoffrey Esper of Massachusetts, ate an astonishing 28 slices of pizza in 12 minutes.

The pizza eating contest, which always draws an overflowing crowd of spectators, doesn’t just offer a chance for people to see contestants consume copious amounts of pizza. The contest also raises money for charity.

For more information on the Fifth Avenue Spring Festival, call the BID at 718-238- 8181.


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