By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BAY RIDGE — “It feels like it’s all coming to a head within the next two weeks,” Bina Valenzano, chair of the “Summer Stroll on 3rd” event, told her fellow members of the Merchants of Third Avenue at a meeting on June 25.
Valenzano, co-owner of The BookMark Shoppe on Third Avenue, gave the Merchants an update on plans for the “Summer Stroll” event.
“Summer Stroll on 3rd” will take place on four summer nights: July 20 and 27 and Aug. 10 and 17. Part of the New York City Department of Transportation’s “Summer Streets” program, in which vehicular traffic is banned to create pedestrian plazas, “Summer Stroll on 3rd” will feature outdoor cafes, games for children, performers playing acoustic music, and other amenities.
The summer stroll area will run from 81st Street to 89th Street along Third Avenue, from 6–10 p.m.
The event is co-sponsored by the Merchants and by state Sen. Marty Golden and Councilman Vincent Gentile.
Valenzano said she worked with Ray Riley, an aide to Golden, and Justin Brannan, communications director for Gentile, to select the performers for the four nights.
Auditions recently took place at Circles Restaurant, the Yellow Hook Grille, and other venues.
“A lot of the performers were very talented,” she said during her presentation at the meeting, which took place at the Green Spa & Wellness Center on Third Avenue.
“We have to start finalizing spots,” Valenzano said, adding that approximately 90 percent of the participants have been lined up for the event.
The Department of Transportation is paying the cost of the printing of posters, postcards and a street map to help visitors find various happenings in the “Summer Stroll” zone.
Charles Otey, executive secretary of the Merchants group, said additional sponsors are being sought for the “Summer Stroll.”