Annual Graham Ave Festival kick off to summer of events
by Ricky Casiano
May 23, 2012 | 2987 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thousands came out Saturday for the ninth annual Graham Avenue Fiesta Festival, the kick off to the summer season.

Several local merchants showed off their wares along Graham Avenue from Broadway to Boerum Street. About 30,000 locals came out on the beautiful sunny afternoon for live music, food and games in celebration of the commercial strip and community in Williamsburg.

“This is a chance for the merchants to say thank you to the community, we appreciate your loyalty and care about the community,” said Betty Cooney, executive director of the Graham Avenue Business Improvement District, which sponsored the event. “Come back here, shop here and have fun.”

About 180 local businesses are invited every year to participate in the Fiesta. For businesses along Graham Avenue, space is offered for free in front of their stores.

Brooklynites came out to check out some of those vendors on the streets of Graham Avenue. They brought their children, dogs and enjoyed the daylong entertainment.

“I loved everything, the Spanish music, the plants, jewelry,” said Evelyn Rolon of Williamsburg. She stopped by before her work shift at nearby Woodhull Hospital. “I wish I had more time to enjoy it.”

This year’s festival welcomed the new president of the Graham Avenue BID, Dr. Katherine Gold. Community groups also came out, such as El Puente, the Moore Street Market and others.

A couple of students from the nearby Green School in Williamsburg also came to the fiesta to perform on stage.

“My school connected me to Betty here and I came to get my voice known,” said the young rapper Nigel, aka Nautii.

Following the Fiesta, locals can look forward to other exciting events all summer long on and around Graham Avenue. Events include the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade festival, also on Graham Avenue, on June 3, and a Farmers market on nearby Cook Street that will be opening on Saturday, July 7.

There will also be free outdoor concerts at the Farmers Market on four Sundays - July 29, August 12 and 26, and September 23 – and a new Play Street will be opening up on sundays during July and August with lots of fun activities for kids.

To keep up with everything going on this summer, visit

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