Fun on Fifth Avenue!

Fun on Fifth Avenue!
Photo by Mike Beitchman

It was a final taste of summer in Sunset Park.

Brooklynites descended on the nabe over the weekend for the 18th-annual Sunset Park Fifth Avenue Street Festival. The crowded fest was a resounding success, according to the executive director of the Sunset Park Business Improvement District, which sponsors and organizes the event.

“I think it was incredible,” said Renee Giordano. “It was packed. The streets and the sidewalks were filled with people.”

The festival took place on the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 44th and 59th streets kicking off at 11:30 pm on Saturday, and the fun didn’t stop until 10 pm Sunday. The event featured plenty of fun for the whole family — including a petting zoo, bouncy house, pony rides, face painting, sand art, and a hula hoop contest — and live bands performed on two stages at 44th and 54th Streets. Local restaurants and vendors sold jewelry, clothing and gifts along the avenue — and Anays, a local boutique, even staged a fashion show. Giordano said that this year, the available spots for vendors had nearly sold out.

One musician who performed on the 54th Street stage said his band thoroughly enjoyed crooning to the crowd.

“The response was lovely, the weather was great, and the little kids had a ball,” said Anthony Foti, the lead singer and songwriter behind classic rock band Closenuf, which formed 16 years ago. “It’s wonderful to play live for the crowd.”

On Sunday, the band played four sets from noon to 5 pm, and the musicians were happy to serenade a diverse crowd from the melting-pot neighborhood, Foti said.

“Good music transcends, and it’s just wonderful to play for that many cultures,” he said. “It’s just such a home for us.”

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.