When is the 86th Street Festival? This weekend!
Bensonhurst’s annual street fair is returning this Sunday, June 7, for a day of delicious food, music, thrift shopping, kids activities, rides, and more. The commercial corridor will be closed to traffic between Bay Parkway and 19th Avenue, from 11am and 5pm.
This year, the 86th Street event will coincide with the Bensonhurst Greenmarket on 18th Avenue, between 81st and 82nd Streets, where folks can watch food demonstrations and buy organic, locally grown, farm fresh produce. We are expecting clear, sunny skies, and temperatures to be in the high-70s, which are sure to draw out the crowds.
As usual, we can expect to see plenty of venders from outside the neighborhood peddling handbags, sunglasses, cellphone cases, and jewelry, according to Chip Cafiero, who has been planning the event for nearly two decades. And this time round, many more 86th Street merchants will be participating in the event by offering sales in their stores.
“It’s one of my favorite festivals,” said Cafiero, who is also behind the 5th Avenue and 3rd Avenue festivals in Bay Ridge. “A lot of people don’t even know it’s a festival. They get off the train and they see they can get bargains in the street. I tell all my male friends to keep their wives away, because they’ll spend a fortune.”
Proceeds from the event typically go towards bettering the neighborhood. In past years, the funds have benefitted a local merchant’s association. These days funds go to the Southwest Brooklyn Parks Taskforce, which brings concerts and other programming to local parks. Half of the proceeds also go to the 62nd Precinct Community Council to fund graffiti removal and other quality-of-life improvements throughout the district.
Get to the festival early this Sunday to find parking on side streets! To get there by mass transit, take the D to Bay Parkway or 20th Avenue, or the B1, B6 or B82 buses to Bay Parkway/86th Street.