Thousands turn out for 27th-annual BayFest

Rock the bay: The band Metropolis played one of the two stages at the 27th annual BayFest on May 20. The Bay Improvement Group puts on the show every year.
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Locals sang, kids played, and everybody enjoyed a day by the water at the Bay Improvement Group’s 27th-annual BayFest on May 20. The group’s president said the festival’s success was testament to Sheepshead Bay’s unique character.

“It brings attention to the beautiful harbor and waterfront community,” said Steve Barrison. “There’s no other place like it in New York.”

Around 2,000 people turned out for this year’s event on Emmons Avenue. As per usual, there were concerts, with this year bringing back two stages. One stage had musicians, including Coney Island’s Metropolis and child singers from PS 52 in Sheepshead Bay, while the other stage featured a disc jockey by the name of DJ Amadeus.

The Bay Improvement Group sought to expand the children’s activities this year, and kids were able to play on an obstacle course, take part in virtual reality games, play tug of war, and more. The kid-friendly atmosphere didn’t go unnoticed, according to one Gravesend grandparent.

“It was great for my little guy,” said Gary Corneto, who brought his grandson Noah to BayFest. “We were dancing all around. He loved the music.”

The event, as always, was free, and many local businesses attended and passed out information, as well as donated prizes for raffles. The Bay Improvement Group does not allow outside vendors at BayFest, so that attendees will be encouraged to visit Sheepshead Bay restaurants and businesses while there.

Barrison received a ceremonial key to Sheepshead Bay from the 61st Precinct for his work in the community. He said he was surprised, and appreciated the recognition, but made a point to share the credit with others who also work on putting on the festivities each year.

“It’s all a team effort,” said Barrison. “No way we could do this without the volunteers.”

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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