Fun-loving families flocked to Park Slope’s Fifth Avenue on Sunday to enjoy an afternoon of games and grub as part of an annual block parties series that provides the perfect summer distraction, according to one mom.
“It was great. The more that we can come together as a community, and get outside with our kids — I think that’s great,” said Samantha De Leon, a Park Slope mom who brought kids Selena, 3, and JR, 2. “It’s great to be in the sun, and to enjoy yourself. Everything came together very nicely.”
The Aug. 11 Summer Stroll block party featured ice-cold brews from Monro Pub and tasty treats from Nuevo Mexico — both located on Fifth Avenue along the two same two block stretch of 11th and 12th streets where the party was — in addition to clown shows, soccer games, face painting, and a giant, pink inflatable chair sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
The event, which is hosted by the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, is designed to promote local commerce, according to the group’s head honcho.
“It’s about bringing activity to the streets, and bringing awareness to the businesses that are in the area,” said Mark Caserta. “We choose places where we can have activities with the local businesses.”
The organization hosts four Summer Stroll events annually, each closing off a section of the avenue and allowing revelers to occupy the usually car-dense roadway.
“It’s a car-free environment for people to enjoy. People pop out into the street because they like the unusual, unexpected open spaces,” said Caserta.
And De Leon agreed, saying the car-free street was as much of a delight for her kids as the carnival attractions.
“It was a great outlet for getting them active,” she said. “My daughter had her scooter, so she felt completely free every time she was in the street. She was excited… And my son liked playing with the building blocks.”