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UES Street Fairs Scheduled for May and June

It’s that magical time of year when the city streets blossom into colorful mosaics of smokey food stalls, inflatable castles and craft booths run by enthusiastic pottery vendors explaining why their bowl is not just a bowl, it’s a lifestyle.

Community Board 8’s Street Fairs Committee had its virtual meeting this week to discuss the street fairs lined up in May and June (plus one in March). While the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office ultimately gives the green light, the Committee makes recommendations to approve or disapprove the applications. All of the following street fairs received unanimous board approval, so we’re expecting them to take place. All of them are also open to the public.

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Whether you’re excited to experience the conflicting aromas of caramelized onions and artisanal soaps – or simply need to move your car – here’s what’s about to hit the streets of the UES.

Purim Holiday Fair (Sponsored by Congregation Beit Edmond)
 – East 63rd Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue
– Sunday, March 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

This will be a Purim festival with games, a bouncy house, and maybe a petting zoo with pony rides, according to Jessica Zagha, the school’s director of programming. It’s mostly for kids ages 4 to 12. Food will be served from the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue (at 11 East 63rd Street) and they might order pizza locally. There won’t be any food vendors. They’re also planning on making it a western theme. So little cowboys can be expected.

MMC Strawberry Fest 2024 (Sponsored by Marymount Manhattan College)
 – East 71st Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue
– Thursday, May 2 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

Expect three local food trucks and some local vendors including Breads Bakery and other nearby businesses.

“Strawberry Fest is our annual street festival for our students,” said Marymount’s Stephanie Tovar. “It’s become a great tradition at our school and for the community that helps us close off the academic year.” Here are some scenes from last year.

Marymount also hosts “Apple Fest” in the fall.

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2024 Spring Fling (Sponsored by PS 267 PTA)
 – East 63rd Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue
– Sunday, May 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

“Spring Fling is a community event open to the entire neighborhood,” said Lauren Hubbert of the school’s PTA. “We make efforts to draw in local vendors to provide food; this year, we’ll be using Two Boots pizza as an example of a vendor we’ve used in the past. We’ll be providing food from local vendors and…we’ll have rides, crafts, bounce houses, and games for kids.”

“No amplified noise; it’s an organic kid play event open to the community.”

Greek Division Walk-a-thon and Spring Festival (Sponsored by Ronald McDonald House New York)
 – East 73rd Street between First Avenue and York Avenue
– Saturday, May 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

From the presentation, it appears that this will be a pretty simple event with food being limited to bagels and coffee. There won’t be any bounce houses but the lady presenting, Spiridoula Katechis, did say there would be balloon twisters and a face painter. There may also be some Greek dancing and some students may “perform gymnastics.” The purpose of the festival is to raise awareness of the Ronald McDonald House. Also, they typically don’t use the entire street, but tend to congregate in front of the Ronald McDonald House.

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Ramaz Block Party (Sponsored by Ramaz School)
 – East 78th Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue
– Tuesday, May 14 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.\ 

According to Gabriella Fridman of Ramaz’s Parents Council, food will be served inside from the school caterer and they’ll also order pizza locally, which will also be served inside. “And we’d like to try and get some ice cream from a community store as well as the parks guy,” she said. There will be bouncy houses, face painting and arts and crafts.

St. Josephs School – Yorkville Street Fair (Sponsored by St. Josephs School – Yorkville)
 – East 87th Street between York Avenue and First Avenue
– Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

St. Joseph’s principal Theresa Bernero explained that this event will serve as a fundraiser for the school, with proceeds collected from ticket sales (which allow kids to enjoy rides and games). The school itself serves food and they will also have vendors “that sell everything but food.”

There will be inflatable games, arts and crafts, face painting and a tag sale (she mentioned used books).

This will be the festival’s first year back since the pandemic.

Hunter College Elementary School Spring Carnival (Sponsored by Hunter College Elementary School)
 – East 95th Street between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue
– Saturday, May 18 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Carnival co-chair Anna Feldman says the carnival will mostly take place inside the school courtyard – “but we do require a street closure for some inflatables that we will be having.”

There won’t be any vendors or food trucks as “it’s not that kind of carnival,” though there will be prepackaged food and they plan to get food from a local vendor. In the past they’ve ordered from Famiglia. Whatever they get this year will be from the neighborhood.

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PS6 Spring Fair (Sponsored by PS6 PTA)
 – East 82nd Street between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue
– Saturday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

This presentation was given by PS6 PTA President Jamie Lavin, who says that this year, they’ve been doing a lot of work with Team TLC, “which helps migrant families and PS 111, which has taken in a lot of migrant families. So we’re going to be working in conjunction with them to bring a lot of those families to our fair, so that they can experience the activities and the food.”

She added that they’ll have lots of food donations. “Last year, we got I think seven or eight different pizzerias who donated; The Supply House worked with us to do chicken fingers. We had different dessert vendors there who also did donations and the kids decorate cupcakes. We’ll have bouncy castles, carnival games, face painting, balloon twisting, some sports activities. We’re also working with the New York Blood Center to try to have their mobile van there to do a blood drive. And we’re collecting shoes for families that are struggling.”

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The Brick Church Strawberry Festival (Sponsored by The Brick Presbyterian Church)
 – East 92nd Street between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue
– Sunday, May 19 from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

“So Strawberry Festival is this annual street fair that we do. It’s kind of a celebration for the community,” said Jeff Shayne, Brick Church’s Fellowship and Events Coordinator. “Everything there is, is open to the public, everything is free.”

“We get around 300 to 400 people coming through every year and it’s a lot of fun. There’s free food, which is hot dogs, veggie dogs, strawberry shortcake, [and] all of that is prepared by Brick Church volunteers and staff onsite in our facilities. We have a three piece brass band, who performs unamplified.”

“There’s an area for kids activities and games. It’s like craft tables. There’s a face painting station, some beanbag toss games, sidewalk chalk. Pretty simple stuff. There’s no inflatables. There’s no rides, no construction, no generators.”

Friendship Walk Carnival (Sponsored by Friendship Circle Upper East Side)
 – East 77th Street between York Avenue and First Avenue
– Sunday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Shlomo Gutnick of Friendship Circle says they’ll have a bounce house, rides andfood prepared at their location at 419 East 77th Street. There won’t be any trucks or outside vendors. Gutnick says this will be the tenth or eleventh year they’ve done the carnival and it will be the same as it has been in the past. Here’s a webpage which lists some other activities they’ve had in previous years.

Brick Church School Fair (Sponsored by The Brick Church School)
 – East 92nd Street between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue
– Thursday, May 30 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

There will be “Two bouncy castles, one for the three-year-olds and one for the two-year-olds, which is just like a slide,” said Anne Shack, assistant to the director of The Brick Church School. She added that everything will be free.

“There are craft tables, cookie decorating, face painting, and we are not serving any food. We have a magic show that goes for about 40 minutes at some point and it’s not amplified, just a magician.”

Red White Blue Street Fair (Sponsored by Saint Ignatius Loyola School)
 – East 84th Street between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue
– Friday, May 30 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

“We have inflatable bounce rides, we keep them on the small side. We have no vendors, no food, no live music, no music at all,” said Anna Sakalis, who works at St. Ignatius Loyola School.

Sakalis added, “…we do sell tickets at a minimum so we can cover the cost of the inflatable. The day of we continue selling them and if any child comes and they either don’t have money, or they tell us they lost their tickets, or they have no tickets whatsoever, we give them free tickets. We’ll give them like 10 tickets so they could be able to do [some] bouncies. So we never turn a child away. We want no tears on that day.”

Reimagining Visibility: Guggenheim/D75 Partnership Celebration (Sponsored by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum)
 – East 88th Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
– Saturday, June 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

A Guggenheim representative named Anna says this will be a “celebration of student artists that we work with through district 75,” which “serves students with disabilities.”

“The celebration is a way to showcase the artists and artwork created through that collaboration. There are no vendors. It’s really a exhibition of student artwork. We do have art making stations that are sponsored by the museum and also by district 75. And, we often have a face painter.”

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Celebrate Israel Parade Street Festival (Sponsored by Jewish Community Relations Council of New York)
 – East 63rd Street between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue
– Sunday, June 2 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Howard Pollack, Director of Community Affairs for the JCRCNY, says this festival – which will be taking place for the second year – will come with “kosher food vendors, vendors selling items of Judaica, sitting areas and games for children.” They are also partnering with the Edmond J. Safra Synagogue to promote the festival.

CSH street fair (Sponsored by Convent of the Sacred Heart)
 – East 91st Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
– Thursday, June 6 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

There will be “water games, they’ll have slides,” said John Denton, a security officer at the school. He added that the food is usually cooked on site and they bring it outside for everyone. There won’t be any vendors. Here are some photos from a previous event.

Senior Class celebration (Sponsored by Convent of the Sacred Heart)
 – East 91st Street between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue
– Tuesday, June 11 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

“It’s a graduation celebration,” said Denton. This will be taking place on the same day as the Museum Mile Festival, so Fifth Avenue will already be closed. Same deal as the June 6 street fair regarding food: it will be cooked at their onsite kitchen.

“And anyone can eat the food?” asked CB8 co-chair Barbara Rudder. “Yes,” answered Denton.


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