Sheepshead Bay hosts 28th annual BayFest

Bagpipes: The Shots perform at the BayFest main stage on May 19.
Brooklyn Paper
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Sheepshead Bay’s biggest party of the year drew about 20,000 people to Emmons Avenue for the 28th annual BayFest on May 19, according to the event organizer, who called the event a smashing success.

“Everything worked out perfectly,” said Steve Barrison of the Bay Improvement Group. “All three bands were top notch. It was a great time for kids, for adults, for education, and for information. Everything worked well, and fell into place.”

The six hour celebration’s main stage featured three New York-based bands, including the top-40 cover band Metropolis, and the kilt-wearing Irish group The Shots.

“They blew everybody away, including me who has seen them before,” said Barrison. “And we had a new sound system, so you could hear it from blocks away.”

Barrison and the Bay Improvement Group shifted this year’s celebration to focus on women’s health issues, featuring informative entertainment to promote healthy lifestyles.

Still, said Barrison, the youth-oriented activities were the biggest hit of the day.

“We had arts-and-crafts stations for the kids set up in two locations, and people really lined up for that,” he said.

The free-of-charge festival was meant to promote local businesses in the Sheepshead Bay area, according to Barrison, who called the yearly event a highlight of the neighborhood.

“We don’t allow any sales. But, if people are hungry, or they want to buy something, they’re more than welcome to buy some food at a local restaurant, or support a local business.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at
Updated 2:30 pm, May 24, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Phil from Sheepshead Bay says:
20000 people? Are you insane. There wasn't even 60 people there aside from the performers and vendors. Fake news!
May 23, 2019, 8:44 am
BIG Steve from Sheepshead Bay says:
So what time were you there "fake news Phil" ? It is about basic statistics setting up simple data matrix which usually would count people passing through every 15 minutes but in cooperation with the security detail and "unofficial" counts we did counts every 20 minutes instead. Then one must consider that there were approximately 300 seats counting both stages, three kids zones that were quite busy and multiple acts on each stage with 19 businesses and also non profit tables, plus four BIG tables, with visitation of 1,500 - 2,200 people passing through most of the time except when the last hour really got colder. That makes the total visitation easily on a very conservative view 18,000-21,000. Sorry, you were unhappy. after 28 years of an all volunteer, all free, vendor free event to celebrate and support Sheepshead Bay's great waterfront and main streets? Maybe you want to volunteer? Raise sponsorship funds? Help our main streets? Join a clean up at three community gardens? Go to all the local businesses and help them get small business grants? Hold a fund raiser for the community? Help make the 29th BayFest on Sunday May 17th, 2020 better? Have a great safe summer everyone! Get involved in your neighborhood. or
May 24, 2019, 4:06 pm
Cathy from Sheepshead Bay says:
My favorite event of the year! The bands were great and my kids had a blast!
May 24, 2019, 8:13 pm
Phil from Sheepshead Bay says:
BIG Steve, you're scamming your sponsors. 300 seats for the stages? There were at most 10 people seated. Are you seriously counting every person walking on Emmons Ave as an attendee? Are you also counting the drivers too? What about the schools of fish in the Bay? That's the only way to come to that conclusion. Here's your 300 seats as shown in a publicly shared video:
May 24, 2019, 9:37 pm
Clare from Sheepshead Bay says:
Love the event. Thanks BIG.
May 26, 2019, 5:11 am

Comments closed.

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