Southside Connex returns this Saturday, September 20th for a second weekend of Connecting Culture, Commerce and People in Los Sures! This past Saturday, residents and merchants in the Southside of Williamsburg marked the beginning of this annual festival with free dance, zumba, and yoga classes; special activities by local merchants; and presentations of community resources. Like last week, Havemeyer Street between S. 4th and Grand Streets will be closed to vehicular traffic. Southside Connex is an annual street festival co-organized by El Puente’s Green Light District and the Southside Merchants with support from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and is part of the NYC Department of Transportation‛s Weekend Walks program.
The feature of this Saturday’s event is El Puente‛s 3rd annual ¡WEPA! Festival for Southside Performing Arts, featuring a star-studded lineup of performing artists. This year’s performers in the ¡WEPA! Festival come from Williamsburg and across New York City—and some from as far as Puerto Rico. This year, we are excited to host performances by Rebel Diaz, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, BombaYo, Avenida B, El Puente’s Dreams in Motion Dance Team, Papel Machete, the El Puente Dance Ensemble, and Pa’lo Monte. Performers span music, dance, and theater, with a focus on our community’s rich and diverse Latino heritage. A precise schedule of performers can be found on the event page at http://elpuente.us/content/southside-connex-community-street-festival.
A press conference with local leaders, elected officials, and event producers will immediately precede the performances at 12:30pm. Members of the media are encouraged to attend the press conference to learn more about the mission of the event, curatorial intention, and its role in the local Southside community. The press conference will be followed by a short photo opportunity.
Frances Lucerna, Executive Director and Co-Founder of El Puente, remarked that “El Puente is beyond excited to bring Southside Connex and the ¡WEPA! Festival back to Los Sures. It is a celebration of our people, our culture, and the small businesses that form the backbone of our community. The festival is a critical part of El Puente’s Green Light District, which is making the Southside more healthy, vibrant, and sustainable, and we are thrilled to have dynamic community partners to achieve this vision with us.”
Carlo A. Scissura, President & CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce commented, “Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is proud to partner with Southside Merchants and El Puente’s Green Light District to promote neighborhood entrepreneurship, and to highlight this borough’s rich cultural diversity at Southside Connex. We applaud the outstanding leadership of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and Councilman Antonio Reynoso in supporting events such as this one, which help to increase foot traffic along commercial strips in the area. Let’s show our support for local businesses—bring your family and friends for two days of jubilation in South Williamsburg. ¡Wepa!”
Southside Connex is sponsored by the North Brooklyn Open Space Alliance, Flushing Bank, SoundHouse, Williamsburg Movement and Arts Center, Print on Broadway, Amerigroup HealthPlus, UnitedHealthcare, Ghost Robot, Fit4Dance, and HealthPlex.