At first they didn’t succeed, so Community Board 5 will try again to put the kibosh on the Fresh Pond Road street festival.
For the second year in a row, the board recommended denial of a street fair application for the four-day festival sponsored by the Federazione Italo-Americana di Brooklyn and Queens, which is scheduled to take place in September. The recommendation, adopted first by the board’s Executive Committee, garnered the support of 27 board members, with only eight opposing it during the CB 5 meeting Wednesday night in Middle Village.
“The [Executive] Committee spent a lot of time on this one based on what the board had reviewed last year,” said Vincent Arcuri, chairperson of CB 5. “And the committee voted not to approve the Fresh Pond Road street festival.”
The arguments against the yearly festival are well documented. It shuts down a portion of Fresh Pond Road, between Menahan and Woodbine Streets for four consecutive nights — scheduled for Sept. 8-11 this year — causing traffic problems for residents, as well as leaving fewer parking spots. Community concerns over quality-of-life issues, including the festival’s late hours and instances of rowdy behavior, are what brought CB 5 to their decision.
However, the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office has the final say on whether or not the festival will take place. Last year, CB 5 voted to deny the festival, but it was approved by the mayor’s office and went on as planned.
The community board did vote in favor of applications for five other street festivals:
- Glendale Kiwanis Club festival on Metropolitan Avenue between 73rd Place and 79th Street in Middle Village, for Sunday, April 24.
- Glendale Kiwanis Club’s Myrtle Avenue Festival of Ridgewood on Myrtle Avenue between Fresh Pond Road and Forest Avenue on Sunday, July 24.
- Maspeth Chamber of Commerce Lions Kiwanis’ Grand Avenue Festival on Grand Avenue between 65th Street and 72nd Street on Sunday, June 12.
- Ridgewood Myrtle Avenue Festival on Myrtle Avenue between Wyckoff Avenue and Fresh Pond Road on Sunday, April 17.
- Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District’s (BID) Myrtle Avenue Festival on Myrtle Avenue between Wyckoff Avenue and Fresh Pond Road on Sunday, Sept. 18.