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A Third Avenue wonderland

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Photo gallery

MY LITTLE PONY: Kylie Kovacs, 3, of Bay Ridge, gets a pony ride at the Third Avenue Festival on Sunday in Bay Ridge.
MUFFINS GALORE: Jennifer Greene, left, and Lauren Kotsis of Bagel Schmagel sell sweet treats at the street festival.
DANCE REVOLUTION: Dancers from Beyond Dance Center for the Performing Arts in Bay Ridge perform in front of their Third Avenue studio.
DANCING QUEENS: Alexis Stefanou, left, and Arelene Garcia are in their Zumba dance attire at Sunday’s Third Avenue Festival.
PING PONG WIZARDS: City Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) is ready for the ball during a ping pong match against his Republican rivals Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and state Sen. Marty Golden.
THE BATTLE RAGES: Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge) gets ready to serve at the ping pong match.
GOP DOMINATES: From left, state Sen. Diane Savino, festival chairman Chuck Otey, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, Rep. Michael Grimm, and state Sen. Marty Golden celebrate the Republican ping pong victory.

They were dancing — and eating — in the streets!

The 38th annual Third Avenue Festival turned 27 blocks along the Ridge’s lowest-numbered commercial strip into an all-day celebration of food, music, dancing and fun.

“It was one of the best years we’ve ever had,” said Chuck Otey, the festival chairman who claimed 200,000 people showed up for the party.

Residents came from near and far for the fun, but stayed for the food, according to Otey, who said Bay Ridge’s street fair is better than others — like the Atlantic Antic, Downtown’s answer to Bay Ridge’s fest that took place on the same day.

“I think it’s the best food festival in the city because we have so many local restaurants,” he said. “It’s a lot more than sausage.”

The smorgasbord saw 51 different types of ethnic food, along with kiddie rides, live bands and dancing.

And, unlike other street fairs, this one featured that staple of summer sports, table tennis

A partisan ping-pong match pitted Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R–Bay Ridge) and state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) against Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D–Coney Island) and Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), with the GOP members taking home the trophy.

A bipartisan referee team of state Sen. Diane Savino (D–Coney Island) and Rep. Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge) ensured that the match was won fair and square, and that there were no McEnroe-esque outbursts by competitors from either side of the aisle.

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