The Fifth element! Crowds cram avenue for annual festival • Brooklyn Paper

The Fifth element! Crowds cram avenue for annual festival

Fair on Fifth: Kim Baker shows off the shades she picked up at the Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Festival on June 1.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Summer’s here, and the time is right for festivals in the streets!

The Fifth Avenue Festival signalled the change of season with a warm afternoon and a bumper turnout between 69th and 85th streets.

“It was one of the best crowds we had in years,” said organizer Chip “Festival Guy” Cafiero. “The zeppole lines were halfway around the block!”

On top of the usual sausage and peppers and sunglasses sellers, one vendor hand-painted T-shirts on site, while another sold handmade leather wallets.

Local bands kept the attendees grooving to classic tunes, with beloved groups like Head and South, Prodigal Child, Radio Daze, and Holla Back taking the stages. Car clubs were out in force to participate in “The Challenge” — a dare to get a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads, or to donate $100 to the charity of another club’s choice.

“Guys were getting drenched,” said Cafiero.

But the highlight of the fair was the 10th annual pizza-eating contest at Rocco’s Pizzeria between 78th and 79th streets. Last year’s champ, Connecticut visitor Jamie “The Bear” McDonald, came just shy of matching his record last year of 29 slices. In second place was Philly native Dave Brunelli with 26 slices, and in third was Bay Ridge’s hometown contender Will “The Champ” Millender with 14.

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

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