Stretching along Brighton Beach Avenue and turning down Coney Island Avenue toward the Atlantic Ocean and famous Riegelman Boardwalk, the 39th Annual Brighton Jubilee Festival is the event of the year. Happening on Sunday, August 30, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., it’s a day filled with hundreds of diverse merchandise including local crafts, international food, kiddie rides, and multiple stages of entertainment.
The Jubilee Festival is when thousands of diverse people come together to celebrate the Brighton Beach neighborhood. The Jubilee attracts over 125,000 residents every year, and its participants reflect a multi-cultural population and all ages from toddlers to senior citizens. After 38 years the Jubilee is respected as one of Brooklyn’s biggest summer events.
Brighton Beach has been the home for immigrants since the 1900s when the first European Jews settled in this beachfront community. The community initially hummed with the sounds of Yiddish, and that continued for a number of decades. However, over a period of time the children of these first settles grew up and moved out to other states, boroughs, and Long Island to take advantage of the booming development going on. This created a period of time in which the neighborhood became a veritable ghost town.
However, in the 1980s a new dialogue was heard on the streets, as a new wave of Russian immigrants washed ashore in Brighton Beach. Today Brighton Beach Avenue, the main commercial strip, is bustling. There are numerous Russian nightclubs and restaurants, which could rival Manhattan clubs of the 1930s when long-legged statuesque dancers framed in huge colorful feathers ascend onto the stage to enchant. Presently, the shows feature top Russian singers, specialty acts, mimes, and other entertainers. Brooklyn gave birth to some of the world’s top performers and today it’s easy to see a rebirth of new talent right here in Brighton Beach. Chain stores are now inverting in this “old world” community. Joining the new Russian Americans are immigrants from the Middle East and Asia. Walking through Brighton Beach is much like viewing a kaleidoscope, which is ever changing, yet ever exciting. Thus, the annual Jubilee is a celebration of this uniquely diverse community.
The Brighton Neighborhood Association began as a grassroots effort to effect change in the languishing community. Today the Brighton Neighborhood Association operates out of an office located inside the JP Morgan Chase Bank at 1002 Brighton Beach Avenue, and is visited by at least 3,000 residents a year. This is the Brighton Neighborhood’s intake and administrative office, which also oversees its Youth Division, which was initiated in 1980. The youth activities include after school centers, anti-truancy programs, and a unique summer school, “Second Chance.” Since its inception, over 1,500 students have received a “Second Chance” that enabled them to advance their education.
The Annual Jubilee is the primary support for these and other programs.
The Brighton Neighborhood Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax exempt, and all funds generated help to keep this organization alive and help to underwrite various community programs to raise the quality of life for the residents of this seaside community. Corporattions are invited to join the sponsorship of this “Brooklyn Tradition.” All sponsorships are tax deductible.