It’s a day of outdoor fun and a distinctly Queens version of rural Americana – with planes overhead, trains to the north, and ice cream trucks to the south.

The annual Memorial Day Fair will take place in Sunnyside Gardens Park on Saturday, May 25, from noon to 5 p.m. The public is invited, and a few hundred attendees are expected.

The activities will begin with a solemn flag-raising before the amusement options begin. Some community members will facilitate arts & crafts, face-painting, and athletic contests. Others will spin cotton candy, sell popcorn, and fire up BBQ treats.

There will be no pig races or chicken rodeos, but the park has an outdoor stage, where local musicians, dance troupes, and magicians will entertain the crowds under the direction of a master of ceremony. In past events, performers have included Silly Billy the Clown, a former regular on Late Night with David Letterman, Big Apple Circus members, and children’s music expert Richard Younger, a Woodside resident.

Admission is free, but some food and drink items are for purchase. Some rides might incur a cost, too.

The rain date is May 26.

Sunnyside Gardens Park is located over three acres with fences on all side. The entrance is at 39-21 48th St.

The Memorial Day Fair is one of the few days when anybody can spend the day in the park, which features a large field, baseball diamond, basketball courts, a bike track, a skate ramp, sprinklers, playgrounds, and a picnic grove. Established in 1926, it is one of only two private parks in New York City. (Gramercy Park is the other.) It’s organized as a nonprofit entity, and members must pay dues and volunteer in its management. Proceeds from the event go to park maintenance.

Images: Sunnyside Gardens Park


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