Street fair, Ragamuffin Parade expected to draw hundreds of thousands
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Southwest Brooklyn is rolling out the welcome mat for hundreds of thousands of visitors this weekend.
The Third Avenue Festival, one of the most popular street fairs in Brooklyn, will take place in Bay Ridge on Sunday, Oct. 6, from noon to 6 p.m. offering visitors sights, sounds and smells that they’ll savor for a long time. A day earlier, on Saturday, Oct. 5, Third Avenue will be the setting for the Children’s Ragamuffin Parade. Be sure to look for thousands of colorfully costumed kiddies on parade day! Children are encouraged to march in the parade wearing homemade costumes.
Sponsored by the Merchants of Third Avenue, the festival will stretch for 23 blocks along the avenue and will feature concerts on stages set up along the festival route, dance performances, rides, games, sidewalk sales, outdoor cafes, raffles, a pet adoption fair, a belly dancing demonstration, balloon sculpture and appearances by cartoon characters for the kids.
The festival route runs from 69th Street to 92nd Street.
The air will be filed with the smell of well-cooked, delicious foods from all over the world as Third Avenue, called Restaurant Row by Bay Ridge residents, puts out its best dishes for its guests.
“We have the largest, yet the most intimate, festival in the city,” said Charles Otey, chairman of the festival and a Brooklyn Daily Eagle columnist. “Several hundred Greater Bay Ridge residents will stage events and display products on Sunday. Unlike other festivals throughout the city you will see people you know with their booths and their causes, such as the Bay Fort Organization, Ragamuffin and the Bay Ridge Community Council, out there on Sunday not merely as spectators but as champions of the volunteer spirit which has driven and defined Greater Bay Ridge the past half century,” he said.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-C-Bay Ridge-Staten Island) will be co-hosting a pet adoption fair at the festival.
Malliotakis, who owns two dogs, will join the group Pet Lovers United Together as One (P.L.U.T.O.) to co-host a pet adoption event on the corner of Third Avenue and 74th Street, in front of Neugard Pharmacy at 7323 Third Ave, from noon to 3 p.m., seeking loving owners for pets rescued locally.
"With so many pets looking for loving homes, the Third Avenue Festival is a great chance for people to visit the P.L.U.T.O. adoption station and meet their new best friend,” said Malliotakis. “While these animals are in dire need of shelter and affection, the reward truly goes to those who adopt these loyal companions. P.L.U.T.O. does tremendous work for both animals and owners, and I hope that the festival’s visitors can find time to stop by and make a difference in the life of a locally-rescued animal."
The festival comes one day after Third Avenue’s other fabulous fall event, the Ragamuffin Parade.
The parade, now in its 47th year, will take place at 1 p.m., starting at 76th Street and ending at 92nd Street.
The grand marshal is Karina Constantino, superintendent of School District 20 in Brooklyn. Local entertainer and civic activist Frankie Marra is Ragamuffin Man of the Year.
The parade is sponsored by Ragamuffin Inc., a non-profit organization headed by Colleen Golden. “We have had 47 years of children marching in costumes with their beautiful smiles,” Golden said at the organization’s recent fundraising luncheon.