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The fun runs free in the Ridge

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It is a packed weekend of free summer fun in the Ridge!

Kick off the weekend with a stroll down Fifth Avenue for the Face of Fifth Avenue Festival, which stretches from 73rd to 83rd streets. The free event, sponsored by the avenue’s Business Improvement District and the Department of Transportation, will clear the avenue of automobiles from 5 pm until 10 pm, leaving room for a pedestrian party. You can dress up your dog for the “Best Dressed Pet Contest,” join the silent disco, and enjoy music from the Shrimps in front of Schnitzel Haus (7319 Fifth Ave. between 73rd and 74th streets), along with more live music, games for kids, and plenty of al fresco dining options.

On Saturday night, hit up the Brooklyn Firefly (7003 Third Ave. between Ovington Avenue and 72nd Street) where singer Cristina Gatti will belt out jazzy takes of beloved hits by Beyoncé and Sam Smith. The free, two-hour show kicks off at 8 pm.

Finish your weekend with a packed Sunday! Start at the Wicked Monk (9510 Third Ave. between 95th and 96th streets), where the Bayou Boys will play a free set of classic and original blues and bluegrass tunes starting at 5 pm.

Then make some music of your own at the Owl’s Head (479 74th St. between Fourth and Fifth avenues), where the Bay Ridge Poets Society’s monthly (and free!) open mic night invites poets, musicians, and writers to share their work. Snag a seat at the bar — or take the mic — beginning at 7:30 pm.

The open mic will last until 9 pm, but if you duck out early you can scamper to Shore Road Park (enter at Shore Road and 79th Street) for a free screening of “Zootopia.” The animated flick about a rookie rabbit cop patrolling a mammal metropolis starts at 8:45 pm, but you should get to the lawn before 8:30 pm in order to claim a spot.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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