Break out the sunscreen and get your merry on.
South Brooklyn is the hottest ticket in town for pleasure punters, with a pair of street spectacles — one with a Big Easy-style parade — that will put summer in your step, turn couch yams into outdoor hams, and celebrate an activist who helped pioneer the neighborhood’s urban renewal success story.
Smith Street’s Sunday Funday Street Fair on June 26, and Bastille Day Celebration and Petanque Tournament on July 10 — New York institutions of food, fun, festivity, and sport — will honor late South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation founder and longtime executive director Bette Stoltz, who created the dual jamborees as part of her enduring legacy for the storied, French-flavored strip she fondly called the “Little Street That Could.”
Stoltz, a feisty community activist who famously showed up on your doorstep if you didn’t return her phone calls, would be thrilled to learn that a New Orleans-type second line procession — complete with a brass band and gussied up marchers trumpeting her memory — will crown Sunday Funday, her group’s signature event, said her daughter.
“It was my mother’s brainchild, and the most outstanding and publicly recognized effort of her non-profit organization,” said Erica Stoltz, the group’s interim executive director. “I think she will be beaming in spirit, and very proud.”
Sunday Funday will showcase the best food, drink, crafts, and clothes on Smith Street, along an eight-block stretch from Bergen to Union streets, organizers say.
Bastille Day, between Bergen and Dean streets, will mark the 227th anniversary of the French Revolution with a rouge, blanc, and bleu tribute to the folk who gave us liberty, fraternity, and Bernaise sauce, while saluting the area’s large ex-patriot community with all things French, including fantastique fare from local restaurants, and more than 10 petanque courts for competitors to square off in the game closest to Gaul hearts.
Around 20,000 revelers turned out for last year’s Bastille jollities that featured the biggest petanque tournament in the world outside of France, said organizers.
Mon dieu! Good sports are already gearing up.
“I’m getting ready to win, even though my ass gets whooped every year,” said Coney Island petanque hopeful John Gonzalez, who plans to make his annual pilgrimage to Brownstone Brooklyn — rain or shine — to try his luck in the French equivalent of bocce.
Smith Street Sunday Funday Street Fair [Smith Street, between Bergen and Union streets, in Carroll Gardens, (718) 852–0328, www.smith
Bastille Day Celebration and Petanque Tournament [Smith Street, between Bergen and Dean streets, in Carroll Gardens, (718) 852–0328] on July 10, all day.