According to CB5 Chair Vincent Arcuri, the city has not approved any street festivals past April, but is still seeking comment from community boards on each application.
District Manager Gary Giordano said he doubts the city will allow any street festivals prior to the beginning of summer “at best.”
“Not likely until the latter part of summer,” he said. “We won’t have enough people vaccinated by the beginning of summer.”
The first festival would take place on Sunday, April 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Myrtle Avenue from Wyckoff Avenue to Fresh Pond Road. It is hosted by the Ridgewood Local Development Corporation.
The Grand Avenue Festival is slated for Sunday, June 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Grand Avenue between 65th and 72nd streets. This fair is hosted by the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce, the Maspeth Lions Club and the Maspeth Kiwanis Club.
On Sunday, July 18, the Kiwanis Club of Glendale will host another fair on Myrtle Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and Forest Avenue. A third street festival along Myrtle Avenue, hosted by the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District (BID), is set for Sunday, September 26.
All four applications were approved, but received 13 “no” votes from the board. Several CB5 members expressed concern with the number of people who would attend the street fairs and pose health risks.
“It’s just going to draw hundreds of people,” said board member Ken Rehberger. “Too many people will not stay a safe distance from other people.”
The only application that passed narrowly, in a 20-17 vote, was the Fresh Pond Road Street Festival, hosted by Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn and Queens. This four-day event will run between 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. from September 9 to September 12.
The Fresh Pond Road street fair has been previously criticized by board members for not only its length, which impacts traffic and public transportation, but other community problems.
Prior to its approval, Tony DiPiazza, the federation’s president, noted in a statement that the festival was approved last year. He said the organization shares part of its profits with local nonprofit groups and helps maintain an office on Myrtle Avenue to help senior citizens.
“The event has always been an opportunity to share Italian culture,” DiPiazza said. “It’s also an opportunity to show what Ridgewood has to offer.
“In these difficult times of slowing retail,” he added, “Fresh Pond Road needs all the help it can get.”