Photo By Erica Sherman

Bayfest, Brooklyn’s largest waterfront celebration, is coming to Emmons Avenue this Sunday, May 19. This incarnation of Bayfest marks its 22nd year in existence as eight blocks of Sheepshead Bay’s waterfront will be filled with music, fun, and vendor-free booths giving out a slew of samples and product information.

This year’s Bayfest will include the usual mix of musical performers, raffles and kid friendly activities, but will also feature a big selection of Sandy-related recovery organizations looking to help rebuild the community.

You can also say hello to your friends at Sheepshead Bites as we’ll have our own booth and be giving away a few goodies.

Here are all the relevant details from the organizers:

SANDY RECOVERY INFO
We admit we got a very late start preparing for BAYFEST because we were so involved with post-Sandy efforts.  At the same time, we saw it as the perfect opportunity to support the community’s long-term recovery from the disaster, and the event has come together beautifully. We’re grateful and pleased about the number and variety of Sandy recovery organizations that will be on hand, and their eagerness to meet with and assist residents still suffering from the disaster.

At this writing, two dozen organizations will participate in Investors Bank BAYFEST (with more signing on), making it the largest event of its kind in Brooklyn to date.  We were able to put this list together with the cooperation of the Brooklyn Long-Term Recovery Group, which brings together organizations that focus on coordinating to address the various unmet needs of Brooklyn’s Sandy survivors.

Here is the list so far of the two dozen organizations that will attend Investors Bank BAYFEST, with brief descriptions of the types of assistance they offer:

  • Alzheimer’s Association – scholarships for Medic Alert bracelets/necklaces (part of the Safe Return program)
  • Arab-American Family Support Center * – case management
  • American Red Cross * – case management including housing assistance, appliances, financial aid, referrals
  • Asian Americans for Equality – loans and grants
  • Bridge Street Development – temporary housing
  • Brighton Neighborhood Association – mold remediation and other assistance
  • Brooklyn Jubilee – pro bono legal assistance
  • Brooklyn Long-Term Recovery Group – referrals
  • Catholic Charities * – case management and a variety of resources and services
  • Coney Island Hospital medical van – free checkup with a doctor, blood pressure screening
  • Department of Financial Services
  • Diabetes Education and Resource Center – healthcare
  • Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol – emergency preparedness
  • Lutheran Social Services – case management and a variety of resources and services
  • Met Council – case management and a variety of resources and services
  • Neighborhood Housing Services – loans; referrals
  • Neighborhood Revitalization – professional mold remediation
  • New York Cares – muck-outs, mold remediation, repairs, tax advice, volunteers
  •  NIA Community Network Services – financial counseling, debt management and reduction
  • NYS Energy Audits – free insulation, appliances, weatherization
  • NY Mortgage Coalition – foreclosure prevention, mortgage assistance, legal support
  • Operation HOPE – insurance counseling, financial management guidance and support
  • Project HOPE – counseling, and emotional and psychological support
  • YaDestiny Treasure Chest – children’s clothing

Eligibility for services offered by some of these organizations is income-based. Some may require a FEMA number; others work with undocumented residents.

The organizations with an asterisk (*) do case management, meaning a trained, compassionate case manager works one-on-one with you to:

  • Answer your questions about recovery
  • Develop a plan to address your needs
  • Connect you with appropriate community resources
  • Determine what financial assistance may be available to you
  • Advocate on your behalf with service and benefit providers

All of the case management organizations are 501(c)3 non-profits and participate in CAN.org (Coordinated Assistance Network), the American Red Cross’ membership database that works to prevent duplication of services.  It may not be accessed by the government for any reason.

MUSIC
ReverbNation.com supported us again this year in our search for bands.  Over 1,600 bands from as far away as Japan applied through their platform to play Investors Bank BAYFEST.  We narrowed the list down to 300 bands within 25 miles of Sheepshead Bay that were family friendly and that sounded good in videos of live performances.  We listened to all of them–twice.  There’s a lot of good music out there!  But we had to choose.  In total, Investors Bank BayFest will offer 23 performances on two stages and eight blocks of Emmons Avenue.

Main Stage
On the Main Stage The Voice will meet American Idol, as Brooklyn’s own Adriana Louise(The Voice, Season 3) and Good Day New York’s Michael “Big Mike” Lynche (American Idol, Season 9) share the stage, backed up by the pro outfit East Coast Band.  We’re bringing back two BAYFEST favorites: Stout, with their traditional songs of the sea, and rock ‘n’ roll fire-fighting bagpipers The Shots.  New will be feisty, bluesy Amy Lynn & The Gunshow and Vinny Jett, who will give his rap song “Sandy The Homewrecker” a Brooklyn twist.  Early in the day we give the DSNY a Lifetime Achievement Award and at 3:15pm the FDNY fireboat will do a display in the Bay.

Mobile stage
Indie sensation Darnaa is donating her performance and will perform on her mobile stage, which she is allowing other bands to use.  Defying categorization, Band Droidz will warm up the stage for her, while top flight jazz artist Onaje Allen Gumbs and his band New Vintage, as well as soaring arena-rock band Face The King, will open the day.

Pier performances

Pier bands will include:

KIDS FUN

  • Arts & Crafts with A2Z Party and ScribbleShop (Tucker Park)
  • Strolling cartoon characters
  • Giant Bounce
  • FDNY Smokehouse
  • Face Painting
  • Brooklyn Public Library storyteller (at their table)
  • Harborlore “Fish Tales” storyteller (2pm, pier 4)
  • NY Aquarium

RAFFLES & GIVEAWAYS

  • 50/50
  • Brooklyn Brewery gift certificate
  • Circle Line tickets
  • Intrepid tickets
  • GNC men & women’s vitamin packs ($50 value each)
  • Wheeler’s gift certificate
  • JoMart Chocolates gift certificates
  • More coming in…

The All Community Arts event will be taking place simultaneously east of BayFest on Emmons Avenue.

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