Ahh, street fairs. Inflatable castles, tube socks, and inconvenienced drivers.
Community Board 8’s Street Fairs Committee had its virtual meeting this week to discuss the festivities on the horizon this year (April to October). While the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office ultimately issues the permits, the Committee makes recommendations to approve or disapprove the applications. All of the following street fairs received unanimous board approval, and as they’ve been taking place for many years, we’re expecting them again in 2023.
In terms of actual plans, some of the presenters got more specific than others. A few of them spoke about last year’s fairs, saying we should expect something similar.
Here they are in chronological order (please note: all locations will be fully closed to parking):
19th Precinct Community Council: Lexington Avenue Fair
– East 60th to 66th streets on Lexington Avenue
– Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This annual fundraiser has been taking place for about 25 years. Food will come from a variety of vendors from throughout the city. There won’t be any music.
Manhattan New School PS 290: Rock The Block Spring Festival
– East 82nd Street between First and Second avenues
– Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Open to the public, this street fair will feature inflatables, arts and crafts, games and other carnival activities. Last year, they had really great support from local restaurants like Penrose, Marinara, Fresh Bites and more.
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce: Second Avenue Community Benefit Festival
– East 66th to 86th streets on Second Avenue
– Saturday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Proceeds from this annual street fair are donated to nonprofit organizations in the surrounding area. According to the Manhattan Chamber of Congress website, they’ve “…donated more than $3.5 million to organizations seeking to improve the health, welfare, social and cultural lives of residents within Manhattan Community Board 8.”
The Episcopal School in the City of New York: Family Day
– East 69th Street between Madison and Park avenues
– Thursday, May 18 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
According to Anne Holm of The Episcopal School, there will be a street full of bouncy houses. “Our neighbors are outside watching them jump on the bouncies.” Everything at Family Day is free and open to the public. Pre-packaged food will be distributed. They try to order food from local grocers. There will also be free hot dogs from the nearby vendor, who’s currently stationed at 69th and Fifth Avenue. One board member was a little sketched out by that. “Just make sure that it’s legal for him to move down into the middle of 69th between Park and Madison.”
The Dalton School: Spring Fair
– East 91st Street between Park and Madison avenues
– Friday, May 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Last year, it was a Candyland theme. We’re not sure if Dalton’s 2023 street fair will be themed or not, but it will feature inflatables, games and crafts, and food will be provided by and cooked in the school. This single-street fair is organized by parent volunteers. The person presenting made a point to state that it’s not a fundraiser, but rather just an open-to-the-public event.
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House: First Avenue Festival
– East 68th to 79th streets on First Avenue
– Saturday, June 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
There won’t be any inflatables or amplified sound, but there will be visual and performing arts and activities for kids. Lenox Hill Neighborhood House will also have a presentation about its services. The people who presented to CB8 indicated that food would come from the restaurants along this stretch of First Avenue.
French Institute Alliance Francaise: Bastille Day
– East 59th to 63rd streets on Madison Avenue; East 60th between Fifth and Madison avenues
– Sunday, July 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
We wrote about this last year, and the presenters said a similar experience should be expected: lots of participating French restaurants and bakeries, live performances, kids activities and more.
German American Committee of Greater New York: 60th Street Fair
– East 60th Street between Madison and Fifth avenues
– Saturday, July 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The same committee oversees the Steuben Parade held every October, as well as Oktoberfest in Central Park – but from what we gathered from the presentation, this street fair will be hiring traditional food and craft vendors (there was no mention of German-specific foods or wares). Participating food vendors will be popup booths (not local restaurants).
Ronald McDonald House New York: Heroes on the Ave Block Party
– East 72nd Street between Park and Madison avenues
– Saturday, August 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Join us for a free event, open to the public, with something for everyone including crafts, rides, food and entertainment!” Here’s some more info from last year.
“Ronald McDonald House New York provides temporary housing for pediatric cancer patients and their families in a strong, supportive, and caring environment which encourages and nurtures the development of child-to-child and parent-to-parent support systems.”
East Sixties Neighborhood Association 60th Street Fair
– East 60th Street between Fifth and Madison avenues
– Saturday, September 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
There wasn’t a lot of information provided, besides that it’s happening, but here’s a Facebook post from the fair in 2015, which you can use to determine if you’re interested in going.
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce: Third Avenue Community Benefit Festival
– East 66th to 86th streets on Third Avenue
– Saturday, September 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Chamber is thinking of having Japanese and Filipino cultural blocks, and brick-and-mortar restaurants will get first dibs on signing up. Last year, they had antique MTA buses.
92nd Street Y: Lexington Avenue Festival
– East 79th to 96th streets on Lexington Avenue
– Sunday, October 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In years past, this fair has featured quite a few live performances including casts from Broadway (Chicago, Mean Girls, Tootsie), as well as from 92Y’s own Harkness Dance Center.