Wash Ave Rocks Blends Beer Pops and Hip 'Dos in Booming Prospect Heights

By Sonja Sharp on August 17, 2012 1:25pm 

PROSPECT HEIGHTS —  The Washington Avenue/Prospect Heights Association is expecting record crowds at the third annual Wash Ave Rocks street festival, which will be held on the booming block between Prospect Place and St. Marks Avenue on Saturday, Aug. 18. 

In addition to the face paint and fried snacks that make summer summer, the fair will feature an appetizer taste-off competition and a fashion show highlighting local designers, barber shops and stylists. 

"The idea was for the merchants on the avenue to give back, while at the same time being able to  showcase what we offer," said Dana Ottey, owner of the Washington Avenue boutique Awedacity and president of the association. "The tagline is celebrating our past and future."

Keeping track of past and future on the bustling avenue can be a challenge. It's hard to walk through the stretch Prospect Heights without running into a business that wasn't there the week before. The year alone has seen the rise of Kimchi Taco, Chrysanthemum Rare Teas and Flowers and Bar Corvo, among many others. 

"The first year we had 12 members. Last year was 22, and this year will be about 32," Ottey said. "Even the number of vendors who come out to sell at this event have increased."

That's why this year's fair will also include a cylinder of historic photos collected by the Brooklyn Museum, as well as a chalkboard wall where community members old and new can share their impressions and memories. 

"We have a whole different season of people, young, old and in-between, yuppies and locals," said Sharon Williams, the association's vice president. "That's why we’re having Wash Ave Rocks, to tell what it was at that time, what it is now, and to tell where we’re trying to go."

The fair will take place from noon to 6 p.m. The Brooklyn Museum will host craft tables for kids, while the association will provide a waterslide and a stage packed with musical performances.

"There'll be lots of family fun," Ottey said. "It's just a great way for people to get to know the neighborhood."

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