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Ridgewood Fair Survives Vote

Slate Of 2014 Street Festivals Get Board Approval

With the usual angst over one particular Ridgewood event, Community Board 5 recommended approval last Wednesday, Feb. 12, of a slate of street fairs scheduled to take place in the board’s confines later this year.

By just three votes, the advisory body voiced its support for the fournight Fresh Pond Road Street Festival sponsored by the Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn in Queens. This year’s festival will take place between Thursday and Sunday, Sept. 4-7, along Fresh Pond Road between Woodbine and Menahan streets.

In past years, Ridgewood residents protested the length of the festival, which requires the closure of Fresh Pond Road from about 5 to 11 p.m. This year’s application noted the street will be closed Sept. 4-6 from 5 to 10 p.m. and Sept. 7 from 2 to 10 p.m.

Prior to the vote, Board 5 member Peter Comber-a Ridgewood resident-reiterated the previous objections, claiming the shutdown of Fresh Pond Road leads to congestion on nearby Forest Avenue and the result of lost parking spaces.

“I’m not calling into question the value of the organization” sponsoring the fair, Comber said. “What I do object to is the disruption of traffic for four days.”

Comber pointed out the street festival’s duration is four times longer than other street fairs scheduled for 2014, each of which will take place on Sunday afternoons. He suggested reducing the Fresh Pond Road festival to two days in order to ease the inconvenience experienced by neighbors.

But Board 5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri stated no changes to the application could be made, as it would require a new street fair application filed with the city’s Street Activity Permit Office. The deadline for new street fair applications for 2014 expired on Dec. 31, 2013, hence the agency is no longer accepting new applications for the year.

In the end, the board voted 18-15 to approve the Fresh Pond Road Street Festival application. One board member-Lucy Dolce, a member of the Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn and Queens-abstained from voting.

The other street fair applications for 2014 were approved unanimously by the advisory body. Those members with ties to organizations sponsoring street fairs abstained from votes on that organization’s applications.

The 2014 street fair slate for Board 5’s confines is as follows:

– The Ridgewood Local Development Corporation’s Myrtle Avenue Festival on Sunday, Apr. 13, from noon to 6 p.m. along Myrtle Avenue between Wyckoff Avenue and Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood.

– The Metropolitan Avenue Festival, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Glendale, on Sunday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Metropolitan avenue between 73rd Place and 79th Street in Middle Village.

– The Grand Avenue Festival sponsored by the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce, the Maspeth Lions Club and the Kiwanis Club of Maspeth, on Sunday, June 1, from noon to 6 p.m. along Grand Avenue between 65th and 72nd streets in Maspeth.

– The Glendale Kiwanis’ Myrtle Avenue Festival on Sunday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. along Myrtle Avenue between Forest Avenue and Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood.

– The Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District’s Festival on Sunday, Sept. 14, from noon to 6 p.m. along Myrtle Avenue between Wyckoff Avenue and Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood.

– The Maspeth Street Fair sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America on Sunday, Oct. 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Grand Avenue between 69th Street and 72nd Place in Maspeth.

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