New Embrace Winter Festival kicks off in Bay Ridge

New Embrace Winter Festival kicks off in Bay Ridge
Breaking the mold: Six-year-old Susu Shanap shows off the clay man she made with the help of a ceramics artist during the Embrace Winter Festival.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Bay Ridge finally got to embrace winter on Feb. 16, after recovering from winter’s embrace.

The Embrace Winter Festival — a new Third Avenue event from the Bay Ridge Arts and Cultural Alliance — launched for the first time on Feb. 16, after a massive snowfall buried its scheduled debut a week before.

Over a hundred families took a tour of the neighborhood’s talents, tastes, and traditions between 69th and 75th streets, from Scandinavian story-telling at Nordic Deli, to a Regina Opera Company performance at Vesuvio’s, to a Bay Ridge Historical Society exhibit at King Falafel, to a display of artist Michelle Faroukh’s work at the new Frank and Eddie’s Butcher Bar.

Alliance President Victoria Hofmo said that she came up with the cultural celebration as a way of promoting tourism in the off-season, and promoting Bay Ridge’s rich but often unacknowledged culture.

“Part of it is we wanted to support the businesses and encourage our own people to come out, but we also wanted get outside people to visit Bay Ridge and see what we have here,” said Hofmo.

Hofmo hopes to turn the festival into a yearly tradition, though without the weather delay. She said she especially liked to offer activities for both youth and adults, and celebrating Bay Ridge’s past while giving a forum to the new and vibrant.

“We had games for kids and things that their parents could enjoy,” said Hofmo. “We’re a very old neighborhood, but we also have people doing brand new poetry and plays.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

All ears: Kids listen to a story read by a pirate inside the Salty Dog during the Embrace Winter Festival on Feb. 16 in Bay Ridge.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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