The Fabulous Fifth Avenue Street Fair will be back in Park Slope this Sunday, but don’t expect the standard assortment of lemonade stands, sausage huts, and sunglasses kiosks that typically crop up when city streets are cordoned off.
This shindig is all about food and wares in existing businesses on the strip, a fair spokeswoman said, explaining the need to banish the ubiquitous vendors.
“Fugeddabout tube socks,” Carol Klenfner said.
The fair, which is organized by the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, has a dozen Slope eateries set up shop on the sidewalk to sling snacks for attendees to nosh on while they check out kiddie rides, live music, and vintage muscle cars from the Antique Automobile Club of Brooklyn.
“We thought it would be a good way to get word out and raise some money,” said Business Improvement District spokesman Mark Caserta.
The love for local merchants is missing from many city street fairs, said Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the think tank Center for an Urban Future.
Nearly half of all permits to sell food and merchandise at street fairs go to just 20 companies — many of which are not based in the five boroughs, the Center’s 2006 study found.
The focus on eating and shopping locally is what makes Park Slope’s fair special, a restaurant worker said.
“Local business is such a big part of Park Slope, so it’s very important to keep the fair that way,” said Chelsea Reilly, who works at Fifth Avenue beer garden Bierkraft.
Jewelry store and knickknack shop Cog and Pearl is holding a fire sale for the fair — literally. A blaze tore through the decade-old shop on May 1, destroying most of its merchandise, but surviving bracelets and baubles will be available at a discount on Sunday, according to its Facebook page.
“The Fabulous Fifth Avenue Fair” (Fifth Avenue between Sterling Place and 12th Street in Park Slope). May 18, noon–6 pm. Rain or shine. Free.
©2014 Community News Group
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