By Bill Parry
Beachgoers in Rockaway had it all Saturday. Beautiful weather, an uncrowded and clean stretch of beach and bargains on the boardwalk.
Nearly 40 high-end vendors set up shop for the first Rockaway Beach Boardwalk Craft & Gift Fair between Beach 82nd and 86th streets and there was plenty of interest.
“Some of the vendors were still setting up their stalls when people started buying,” Long Island Street Fairs promoter Alan Finchley said. “All of the merchandise is handmade or handpicked and you just don’t find them in the stores around here.”
Items included designer jewelry, handblown glass figurines, household decor and clothing.
“You won’t find tube socks here, it’s not a flea market or Canal Street,” Finchley said.
He added that it was important to help bring visitors back to Rockaway following Hurricane Sandy nearly three years ago.
“It’s a street fair with a purpose,” Finchley said. “It’s not about making money, it’s about bringing business and positive thinking back to Rockaway. Some people may come and check out the fair and see these wonderful buildings and decide they might want to move here or maybe bring their business to one of the vacant storefronts on 116th Street.”
And that’s where it gets personal for the Lido Beach, L.I. resident.
“I grew up on 123rd Street and worked in the arcades on 116th Street every summer, so yes, it’s important for me to try to help bring people back here,” he said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718.260.4538.