Bay Ridgites celebrate community through Fifth Avenue Festival • Brooklyn Paper

Bay Ridgites celebrate community through Fifth Avenue Festival

Music Queen: Heather Cuccia won the 13th annual Bean Post Idol competition after singing her heart out during Sunday’s Fifth Avenue festival in Bay Ridge.
Photo by Trey Pentecost

It’s the day when Fifth Avenue becomes Bay Ridge’s Main Street!

Brooklynites flooded the streets of Bay Ridge on June 3 for the Fifth Avenue Festival, which offered food, drinks, music, and amusement rides. The neighborhood gathering was only fun, but also highlighted the importance of community, according to one attendee.

“It brings together vendors, shops, restaurants, and people,” said Heather Cuccia. “It’s an excellent way to bring the community together.”

The festival had a bit of everything. Thousands of Bay Ridgites enjoyed outdoor dining where they chowed down on pizza, tacos, and snacks. Children rode amusement rides and played in bouncy castles while other attendees participated in face painting, basketball games, and even wine tasting.

But for Cuccia, the singing competition put on by local pub Bean Post proved to be the highlight of the day. Cuccia and 17 other contestants performed crowd favorites from Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” to Elle King’s “America’s Sweetheart.”

She said her performance, which won her the competition, honored her late friend and Bean Post bouncer James Gottlieb, who passed away earlier this year. She hoped honoring him would remind the audience about the contributions each individual makes to the community.

It’s the festival’s ability to highlight the good in people that makes the event so popular and keeps Bay Ridge united, according to Cuccia.

“There’s a lot of love and a lot of support to be had,” she said. “You got to have community.”

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