New York City Street Fairs / Festivals Are Back for 2021
Street Fairs are now allowed back on New York City streets says Dan Gross, recently appointed as the Executive Director of Citywide Events Coordination and Management (CECM).
We reached out to Mr. Gross and the following is his response, “Street Fairs are now permissible in accordance with NYS COVID-19 Fair and Festival Guidance. Some street fair producers have opted to postpone their events until 2022. We look forward to working with those groups in the future to ensure they come back stronger than before”
It was only very recently that yours truly learned of this by glancing at local organizers’ websites. It’s unmistakable how something’s afoot after seeing all the scheduled dates for fairs.
Yours truly reached out to ClearView Productions’ Director of Operations Robert Ashe whose site shows scheduled events for the coming two months. Mr. Ashe stated that they’d begun with the Broadway “Astoria” Memorial Day Fair this past Monday and that it was only last Wednesday that they’d gotten word.
“The Street Fairs are open. We’re taking extra precautions. We’re going above and beyond to make sure the events are safe. We’re requiring all of our vendors to wear masks,” he said.
I asked about the flow of pedestrian traffic to which he said, “Everyone is allowed to free-flow, however we are responsible to cordon off the block so if we identify a crowded block we can seal off that block and not let anyone in on the block until the crowd disperses.”
He added that marshals are out keeping track of crowd size and that police presence has been wonderful. “The NYPD has been very supportive.”
Speaking of the recent Astoria Fair, “People commented – wow, nice to be seeing everybody wearing masks at a street fair…”
What’s missing from all of this is an official announcement from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo released related guidelines two weeks ago on May 17.
“Fairs and festivals are huge economic generators for communities across the state, and last year they were all put on hold due to the COVID pandemic,” Governor Cuomo said. “As more New Yorkers get vaccinated and we continue to keep the positivity and hospitalization rates down, we are readjusting our reopening strategy and allowing more events and attractions to resume. This new guidance will allow our county fairs and local festivals to open at the greatest capacity possible so they can remain economically viable, while still ensuring public health and safety.”
We’ve updated our Street Fairs Calendar and will continue to add additional dates as we head farther into the Summer.
This is all good news which comes after the many times we’ve reached out to the Mayor with questions on the subject since 2020, when we were all in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.