07 May East Hampton’s Spring Fair Ups The Game For Its Third Year
A pink pony, dozens of local artists and craftsmen, 20 not-for-profits, eight hours of live music ranging from rock ‘n’ roll to bluegrass, local food vendors, outdoor shopping, and hundreds of East Hampton residents—it’s time for another East Hampton Chamber of Commerce street fair.
With no sign of stopping the fun anytime soon—the chamber already has plans for a Summer Festival as well—the third annual Spring Celebration Street Fair will take over the sidewalks of Newtown Lane and part of Main Street on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“It’s going to be a really great event,” Steve Ringel, the chamber’s executive director, said on Monday. “It’s grown a lot just over the past three years.”
He added, “There’s no other street fair like this on the East End.”
This year’s festivities will include more than 50 booths with local artists, shopkeepers, crafts and food on the Saturday just before Mother’s Day. Guests can dance and listen to live music—including a Beatles tribute band, the Lynn Blue Band, and the Potter-Tekulsky Band—on a Main Street stage throughout the day. PennyLane will come dressed up as the Beatles and play a two-hour set of the band’s classics.
This year, for the first time, shopkeepers on Newtown Lane and Main Street will be able to have sidewalk sales to sell their own merchandise.
Also new will be a Bedside Reading Authors Signing Tent in front of Eileen Fisher, featuring such writers as Genie Chipps Henderson, author of “A Day Like Any Other”; Keele Burgin, author of “Wholly Unraveled”; and Mel Greenburg, author of “Running with Our Eyes Closed,” to name a few. Children’s book author Ruth Ann Warren will read from “Blossom and Grow” at 2 p.m., an event featuring a live pink pony and free gifts for the first 50 children.
“Part of the story involves a little girl and a pink pony,” Mr. Ringel explained.
There will be plenty of other activities for kids too, including Kidzone, featuring a YMCA summer camp adventure area with a climbing wall and jumping castle, face painters, the Art Nanny, and arts and crafts projects.
Petit Blue will sponsor a free “Make A Mother’s Day Card” station for all kids, which will come with seeds to plant for Mom.
The Animal Rescue Fund van will make an appearance with cats and dogs that are available for adoption, and the Children’s Museum of the East End will host science projects for kids of all ages. The East Hampton Library will set up a book tent, and there will be a flight simulator from the East Hampton Aviation Association for children and adults.
“This year, we’re going to have about 10 amazing food vendors with everything from funnel cakes, to homemade ice cream, and homemade chocolates for Mother’s Day to fresh lobster rolls and clam chowder,” Mr. Ringel added.
Attendees will be able to visit an expanded food court featuring local fresh seafood from Stuart’s Seafood, wood-fired pizza, Kona Ice, homemade pickles from Perfect Pickle, handmade ice cream from John’s Drive-In, tacos from Mattitaco, homemade chocolate from Annie’s Sweets, and New York handmade pretzels.
Right by the Main Street stage, a billboard-sized canvas will be set up where visitors can create a mural. “While people are dancing in the streets, you can wander over the mural and find dozens of brushes and paints galore,” Mr. Ringel said. “Anybody from little kids to professional artists can contribute to the mural … It blew me away last year.”
Mr. Ringel explained that none of these events would be possible without the help of Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr., the East Hampton Village Board, and the fire and police departments.
Before last year’s East Hampton Spring Celebration, the village hadn’t hosted a street fair in nearly 300 years.
“I commend them,” Mr. Ringel said. “This has all happened because the ‘village of no’ became the ‘village of yes’ … with their help and support we’ve been able to put on three major fairs.”
Somewhere around 2,000 people attended the last Fall Festival in Herrick Park, but for the Spring Celebration Street Fair, the chamber estimates upward of 5,000 people will show up throughout the day. “It shows that our community can rally together and they want to come to things like this. This is a festival for all of us.”
With success from the previous festivals, the Chamber of Commerce and East Hampton Village plan to continue the free, family-friendly fairs in the fall, and for the first time, a summer festival will be held in Herrick Park on August 17, which Mr. Ringel said he hopes will “feel like a real country fair with a pie-eating contest, and three-legged races.”
Hampton Free Ride will provide shuttle service from the John M. Marshall Elementary School parking lot, and additional parking will be available in the long-term lots behind Herrick Park and behind the middle school.
“It’s a true community event to celebrate spring, as well as to showcase our wonderful businesses and organizations,” Mr. Ringel said. “I’m honored to help create community in our village.”