The first Brooklyn BagelFest took place at Bushwick Generator on September 8, between 10 a.m and 2 p.m. with over 300 attendees and over 500 bagels consumed. The festival was put together by the main organizer Sam Silverman, who goes by the nickname The Bagel Borg.
Silverman describes himself as a bagel-enthusiast, and he decided to host a bagel festival after realizing that there were no bagel festivities in New York City, a city known for its terrible public transportation and delicious bagels.
“I love bagels. I was very shocked about [Sam Silverman’s] story about how there is not another bagel festival already,” said Jess Forden, one of the attendees, about the festival. “When we think about New York, we think about bagels. We have a festival for literally everything else here.”
The tickets for the first ever bagel festival were $10, and included unlimited bagels, various kinds of cream cheese, beer, and the whole experience.
The bagel pool and the bagel piñata were part of the experience on the first floor, along with hundreds of bagels. Second floor hosted all the morning beer and bagel themed games.
After the bagel piñata was smashed, it revealed cut bagel pieces inside, Silverman said, “The more ridiculous the better. This is all about fun. Bagels are not that serious; they are something we all love, and something we all joke about. So the sillier, the better.”
Bagel shops all around the city participated in the event with their bagels. David’s Bagels, Bagel Pub, Terrace Bagels, Absolute Bagels, Ess-a-Bagel, and Bagels & Schmear were among the participating bagel shops. BagelFest also collaborated with Think Coffee and Evian.
“I wanted to do this [the festival] in Brooklyn, and I wanted to do something that was central for a bunch of different shops,” said Silverman about the location of the event.
Silverman thanked the people participating in the event, and talked about his family’s history about the bagels as well.
“My grand-grandfather was a Russian immigrant, and he came over. He made his living here by making bagels. I actually just learned this yesterday,” he said.
Silverman is not only the organizer of the Brooklyn BagelFest, but also the face and founder of Brooklyn Bagel Blog.
“[Silverman] loves his bagels with great passion,” said Steven Avalos, who helps Silverman with shooting his bagel reviews on YouTube. Silverman describes himself as “a finely-tuned, highly-calibrated bagel-eating machine on a mission to find the best bagel in the universe.” Also, there is a map of every bagel story in the city on Brooklyn Bagel Blog’s website.
People attending the festival seemed to be enjoying the mix of bagels and beer on a Sunday morning.
When asked how she found out about the festival, Olivia Picard replied, “I found the event through a website. I was very curious about what a bagel festival would be like because I never heard of it. Also, I do love bagels, of course, that is why I am here.”
Some guests were curious about how it was possible to turn an everyday breakfast item into a whole festival before coming to the event. “I was definitely curious to find out what I would walk into. I found the bagel pool and bagel games very interesting,” said Elisabeth Fuentes.
Silverman stated that he was happy about the turnout for the festival. “Next year, we definitely want to make it a lot bigger, a lot better.”
The next festival is aiming for spring; follow the Brooklyn Bagel Blog on Instagram for updates.
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