Southern Brooklyn

Tonight: Help Plan The 20th BayFest!


Bay Improvement Group is holding a BayFest planning meeting tonight, and they’re hoping you’ll come down to give some ideas and volunteer for the 20th edition of this annual event.

They write:

Help plan and volunteer for the eight block annual waterfront celebration of the unique and beautiful harbor Sheepshead Bay, the third Sunday in May..

The last two months have been cold, snowy and busy, with new acts listened to and setting up plans for permits and more city red tape. This 20th BayFest should be super but needs extra volunteers to make it all come together with entertainment at all ten fishing piers.

Join in your community to make this 20th BayFest bigger and better than ever. It’s only 3 months away!

The meeting is tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Comfort Inn on Emmons Avenue and Brigham Street. If you like throwing a party, come help put on the biggest fiesta in Sheepshead Bay, for Sheepshead Bay.

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  1. Why bother? It gets worse and worse every year. The only good time was the first bayfest, when Mike from Cappuccino on the bay had all the vendors that he knew from the San Genaro feasts come in..And PLEASE, stop with the guy from the Vanilla Fudge and that guy from Alive and Kicking.

  2. I’m gonna repeat this as I did last year. The event needs Food. Local Vendors should have a chance to showcase their offerings, and People who live in the area can be given the chance to showcase their own creations (presuming they get a vendors license from the city).

    So far the only place that benefits is Applebees, Roll & Roaster and those few places in the mall off Jerome.

    They should also expand the entertainment, I bet there are tons of HS and College Kids from the area who have bands who’d love the chance to play their music.

    Lets get the ship captains involved somehow too.

  3. there have never been any vendors at any of the 20 Bayfests. Mike closed his blockfor one day in December for a block party. The reason we have not had vendors is because of the permit restrictions, sanitation requirements, and insurance, which raises the cost to Bay Improvement Group exponentially. With the change in demographics of the neighborhood in the last 20 years, there has been less and less support from the local merchants and almost no support from the people living in the community. Even some of the big corporate sponsors have given little if anything over the last few years to allow us to expand our festivities. We get a fixed grant from various politicians and that doesn’t go too far. Certainly not far enough to cover what I mentioned before, let alone top name entertainment. You can rest assured Vince Martell will not be performing this year. How about sending in a donation or purchasing an ad to assist us with our funding. Although we get funds from the city, it usually goes right back to the city, and the entertainment. Anyone you see that represents Bay Improvement group is giving up their time voluntarily at no pay.


  4. We have discussed this very topic for the past few years. As I mentioned above, the costs for BIG to obtain the vendor’s permit, sanitation costs, and insurance is exorbitant. Additionally as you mentioned, the merchants would have to obtain permits as well. We’ve gotten by on sanitation costsbecause the volunteers police the area and clean up to the best of our abilities, that we don’t get a bill for clean up as other festivals do. With vendors, that would be impossible for us to continue, therefore, we would incur increased expenses. There has been mention that it’s possible to go that route for next year, but it is already too late in the planning stages for this year.

    As far as local talent, we have had dozens upon dozens of demo CDs submitted that we have been listening to, however, we are trying to get as big a turnout as possible, and how many local bands really have a large following? If they are real good, maybe 100 people? We are thinking bigger than that. We have a few Famous artists that we are in discussions with, but I am not at liberty to mention them until and unless we get a contract signed with them. Keep your fingers crossed. Our goal is to have a performer or group on each pier like we did 10 years ago.

    You also mention the captains……we are hoping they allow us to hook up to their electric, should we fill the piers with performers…..just saying. Believe me when I say, we are doing as much as we can to see that this year will be the best in memory. care to help out? Become a volunteer? or Simply attend a planning meeting and voice your thoughts or opinions?

  5. What are you talking about?

    How is Brighton Beach Jubilee Festival do it?
    They have vendors

    The first step is to CHANGE MANAGEMENT

    Am sure if I and Arthur and a few of my partners teamed up, we could do an event 100 times better than you ever can do.

    Arthur gave you golden advice and you are NOT listening to it.

    You are the FIRST problem.
    Go to ANY other HUGE event and LEARN (unless you are too hard headed)

  6. Questions.

    Why are local merchants not supporting you? because you suck and nothing good came out of you.

    Why would big corporations sponsor a shitty event? If you invest money, you want to money invested to a good event with good results.

    To name entertainment? Why would they play for 20 people?

    purchase an ad? to a place that no one will see the ad?

    send a donation? so it will be wasted?

    The vendor dont mind to pay a little money

    How much is Apple Bees and Roll Roaster paying you under the table not to have competition?

    They should pay you the MOST money because they get the MOST biz out of it.

    We thank you for volunteering.

    Do you have a bossiness plan?

    Have you seen SUCCESSFUL festivals and LEARNED from them?

  7. Thanks BB. It’s people like Red Car that always say others suck, they can do better, but never step up to the plate.

  8. Alot is really the weather and date. We are grandfathered in on the date, so that can’t change. Next, we are not a typical “vendor” event and never have been, but a community based all free celebration of the waterfront that began with a Blessing of the Fleet which went from over 40 active party fishing boats to now maybe 6. The event was to bring everyone from children to Seniors out to the bay and highlight all it has to offer. Over the years we have had: diving, sailing, the US Coast Guard, rowing competitions, kyacking and marine archiological exhibitions, boating safety, the NYS DEC display, the NY Aquarium, the Brooklyn Children’s museum, the Kids Russian American Circus, Bocca Burgers, Topps Meat, Dunkin Donuts, Ben & Jerrys, Balance Bars, Breakstone Cottage Doubles, Arizona Iced Tea, boat rides, Fire Safety with the FDNY, games for kids, magic, face painting, arts & crafts, many give a ways, raffles, and much more. BUT with less volunteers and less local participation, with less in the economy we have scaled back alot, but have never turned our back on the local businesses(which vendors do), even though most do not support the community that keeps them in business. Yes, the local eateries make out very well on BayFest day especially in the good weather. On the Tenth BayFest we lucked out with sunny warm weather, a band at each of the ten piers and over 100,000 people came down to Emmons Avenue. we are trying to do that again for the 20th this year!
    We are not hard headed, just not interested in the same old street fair festival with the same vendors as every other street fair in NYC. The Brighton Event is great for what it is. This is a different kind of event. We are trying to bring attention to the beautiful waterfront community. And it appears we have been quite successful as Sheepshead Bay has become one of the hottest places to visit, build and live in NYC; so much so that there is now overdevelopment with many empty unsold units. Lastly, big corps invest because of the demographics down here, for the same reason that there are so many banks just along the Sheepshead Bay Road alone. There is so much history that you don’t know and the reasons too. We were involved for a number of years with Welcome back to Brooklyn which a attracted hundreds of thousands each year so we know all about huge vendor based events too. We look forward to great weather and dancing in the streets this 20th BayFest Sunday May 15th, see ya, and check out All Free, All nonprofit, all volunteer, all ages, community pride, celebrate our unique historic waterfront some of us have spent generations to preserve and maintain. Perhaps you’d like to: help clean up our three Adopt a highway garden sites? Or help with finding a new supermarket for Nostrand Avenue? Or help increase the number of parking spaces in the community? Help save the steeples of the old church on Ocean Av & Voorhies? Monitor the illegal construction in our area? Aid in graffiti clean ups? Encourage environmental clean up and respect of our coastal waters? Solve the erosion problems along the Belt Parkway? And many more? As volunteers, there is a lot to do with very few actually doing. All of southern Brooklyn needs more volunteers, so we look forward to anyone out there. In the meantime, we will try to celebrate on the 20th BayFest and hope eveyone out there looks on the positive side of things to just have some fun and get involved! I have no time to respond to you and debate things here, but wish everyone a terrific Spring and see you at BIG Oscars April 14th and BayFest the third Sunday in May!

  9. Never step up to the plate that’s the word. People do not realize what’s involved here. Permits, sponsors, bands, boats and so on. The people who are not involved always have something to say. The saying goes you have to wear the shoes to realize what is going on. It’s a lot of hard work for all volunteers but it pays off the reason is very simple your helping your community. Remember they are there to help you if needed.


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