2014 Woodhaven Street Festival
Alcira Morales has been coming to the Wonderful Woodhaven Street Fair since she was a child.
This year she came with her husband, children, nieces and nephews to explore the neighborhood, try a variety of food along Jamaica Avenue and catch up with her community.
“I come every year,” Morales said as she sat by her daughter, who was getting her face painted. “I remember coming with my mom and dad and all my friends. I’m still friends with them now, and a lot of them are here today.”
State Senator Joseph Addabbo said he was happy to see yet another successful year of the event.
“An integral part of Woodhaven is the stores and the people,” Addabbo said, as he walked through the crowd. “Certainly a street fair like this is really what makes Woodhaven great.”
As he walked, Addabbo passed by his opponent in the upcoming November elections, Republican Mike Conigliaro.
“This is what this shows about the diversity of Queens, that different people can come together and work together,” Conigliaro said.
Maria Thomson, executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District, helped shape the street fair after taking over the project nearly 25 years ago.
“The festival was started by the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation as an arts-and-crafts event,” Thomson remembered. “The first thing I did was get the stores involved.”
Today, the once four-block street fair now spans 10 blocks along from Woodhaven Boulevard to 80th Street.
On the Monday following the event, Thomson said her first order of business was to begin planning for next year.
“It takes a lot of time, a lot of work and it’s just amazing when we finish,” Thomson said. “We always look back and say, 'how did we do that?'”