In honor of the Jewish holiday, Sukkos, City Councilman, Simcha Felder arranged for free outdoor entertainment to take place in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn on Sunday October 8th. The event took place on 19th Avenue, just a few blocks away from my house.
The four middle days of Sukkos (a nine-day holiday), known as Chol Hamoed, can pose a challenge for parents, especially those with large families. Since work may be done and the previous two days were spent at synagogue/home, parents are left to find ways to entertain their kids for a few days in a row. Most of the time, families make plans to go on day trips. By setting up free entertainment in the heart of the neighborhood, parents were able to take their children to a concert, circus/aerial performance and mini amusement park without having to worry about expenses.
In previous years, a mini amusement park was set up a block away on 18th Avenue, but it was not as extensive or exciting. Teenagers and adults found it very boring. This year on the other hand, individuals of all ages were wowed by popular Jewish singers and aerial performers. Even older people from the nearby old-age home came out to see what was happening and enjoy the festive spirit. It was especially nice to see how people brought wheelchair bound relatives to see the show.
The event was publicized in Jewish newspapers/fliers and by word of mouth, so the whole neighborhood heard about it well in advance. By the time I got there in the afternoon, the performance had already started, and the street was mobbed. People were everywhere, enjoying the show while socializing with friends and neighbors. It was a great place for children to meet up with their classmates. The normally quiet block was teeming with life and enthusiasm.
The circus/aerial performance was put on by a group that the MC introduced as Cirque Du Sukkos. It was a small group, consisting of four onstage performers in bright costumes who put on a half-dozen acts. Besides for the one posted, a different performer balanced atop ten stacked chairs while another climbed a giant poll and performed a variety of daring tricks from the top. Many of the adults, were intrigued by the agility of the performers. The acro-dancer in the clip made beautiful arcs with his body while hanging from a rope that had been set up in the center of the crowd. The audience was mesmerized by the graceful spinner and his colorful costume.
Unfortunately, the weather was not so cooperative. That Sunday was extremely humid and the sky looked threatening. Thankfully, the rain held out, but just in case the stage was set up under a partial canvas tent. After people made plans to spend the day there, they were happy to find out that the show would go on. And it was a major success! The kids had a great time and the adults were well entertained.