Little Odessa celebrates 42nd-annual Brighton Jubilee • Brooklyn Paper

Little Odessa celebrates 42nd-annual Brighton Jubilee

Sweet treat: Katherine Rivera, who came all the way from Long Island, enjoys a refreshing mango daiquiri at the Brighton Jubilee on Aug. 26.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

It was a jubilant day for Brighton Beachers.

Little Odessa celebrated in style with live music, tantalizing grub and entertainment for the whole family at the 42nd-annual Brighton Jubilee on Aug. 26.

The six-block festival stretched along Brighton Beach Avenue from Corbin Place to Coney Island Avenue and was organized by the Brighton Beach Neighborhood Association, whose founder said she takes pride in Brighton Beach’s cornucopia of culture that was on display that day.

“I was walking down the streets and people were having a great time, and you could see people from all different cultures smiling,” said Pat Singer. “There was something there for everyone — you could hear the Spanish music with the flutes but also the Bay Ridge bands, which were exceptionally good this year,” she said.

The event brought out a host of musicians, live performances and entertainment to the streets, including the personalities from Russian-language radio station Rusa, the Bay Ridge singer Frankie Marra, as well as flea markets, kiddie rides, and giveaways.

One returning visitor from outside the city came for the music but stayed for the delicious chow.

“They had Ecuadorian food like corn and some Spanish plates, which were really good,” said Long Islander Katherine Rivera. “It’s the second year that I went because my boyfriend works on sound for the bands,” she said.

A local mother-of-three appreciated the chance to interact with her community and meet and greet New York’s Finest.

“These events are great for uniting the community and bringing them together with the police department, who keep the area safe for us and our kids” said Julia Pulatov, who was working as a representative for the health insurance company Fidelis Care, but stayed on off the clock to see some of the music.

Community involvement is what keeps Brighton Beach vibrant, and Singer has been getting the local youth on board by having them helping out with the neighborhood association’s events.

“We hired about 50 kids of all ages and some of these kids have been with me over the years and now they’re in their teens,” she said. “They will take this memory to the rest of their lives, and I think they have a new sense of pride in their neighborhood.”

The event takes a lot of work, but the result is so rewarding that it has kept the party going for more than four decades.

“It’s been 42 years, so we’re doing something right,” she said. “It’s something I look forward to every year and it’s a labor of love, but I’m not complaining,” she said.

And she looks forward to doing it all over again next year.

“I want to thank the people for supporting us all these years, and we look forward to seeing them again next year,” she said.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.

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