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Community Board Ends the Skillman Avenue Street Fairs

Photo: QueensPost

Jan. 8, 2013 By Christian Murray

Say goodbye to the Skillman Avenue street fairs.

Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2 chairman, said that they have been canceled in 2013 following a number of complaints from nearby residents and Skillman Avenue business owners.

The first batch of complaints came last April, when Rita Lowry, the owner of Welcome Home Real Estate, told the community board that a large truck parked outside her Skillman Avenue office for hours during the Spring 2012 fair– with a loud generator. Lowry said that her employees could not hear themselves on the phone.

Anther woman complained that several residents’ cars were towed away and garbage was left on the streets. She also complained about excessive noise.

Conley said that the organizer of the street fairs, Clearview Festivals, was notified of the concerns at the time but failed to adequately address them.  In fact, more people started complaining over the course of 2012.

In the end, Conley said the fairs at the Skillman Avenue location had to be cancelled.

A spokesman for Clearview would not comment on the two fairs. However, he said that the company would be talking to Community Board 2 about its decision.

Nevertheless, Conley is looking to find an alternative location for the two fairs since many of the local non-profits—Sunnyside/Woodside Lions Club, Kiwanis, Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and Sunnyside Community Services—depend on them for funding.

Clearview typically splits some of the profit from the two fairs–with the four non-profits. What proportion of the profits is split is not known.

Meanwhile, the two fairs on Greenpoint Avenue, while still on, are in jeopardy as a result of similar complaints.

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Clearview makes a ton of money renting booths to vendors for these fairs and tosses a few bucks to some local group who “sponsors” them. Really, the local groups are just providing a cover legitimacy for this scheme to fleece the neighborhood and hurt local businesses.

The local groups who go along with this arrangement are responsible for colluding with Clearview. They need to find other ways to fund themselves that don’t hurt local businesses.

The best street fairs are the ones that are actually, in fact, created and produced by the community, where kids from the neighborhood play in the street, where locals sell their extra or handmade things and local businesses put out their own food on the side walks to entice new customers.

Generic, canned street fairs are not a benefit to our community.


So since there is one business that complained about the noise, I can’t go to a street fair anymore that I have been going to for the the 15-20 years which as far as I can remember!!!!!! This is bs. Think of a solution don’t cancel it. These are the things that keep neighborhoods going, happy and getting all together for a day of fun wether it be shopping, eating, spay on tattoos for the kids. That’s also important don’t take it away from the kids. I grew up with these street fairs, I would bring my future children for the day of fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!


There is an art festival every year – they display at Queen of Angels and in various restaurants. Good riddance to the crummy Skillman Avenue street fair!


Shame , they were a harmless piece of fun. Maybe some of the stuff they sold was crap but it was a part of summer and a nice addition to the neighborhood. And Ms Lowry couldnt hear the phones could you? Im sure you still shifted some over priced one bedroom apartments to some out of state sucker.

43rd ave


Bliss & Skillman

It would be delightful to see an art fair/festival. Paintings, pottery, jewelry, soaps, candles, fudge, hot sauces, fabric art, kettle corn, glazed nuts. Those are the kinds of fairs that draw people who will patronize the local eating establishments while in the neighborhood.


This restores my faith in local government somewhat. Obviously Clearview wasn’t able to bribe our officials into letting them have their cookie-cutter street fairs here.


junk fair down, now all we need to do is get rid of that fake ass farmers market that stops by Sunnyside.

you hipsters DO know that the Local markets sell the same veggies for half the price right? support your neighborhood dummies.


Good riddance Sunnyside Junk Fair! This Non-community debacle has gone on for too long. Maybe we can get some of those Dumpster Pools here and our children can splash around and have some fun. Instead of letting our streets being filled with non residents selling their junk which will sooner than later be tossed in a dumpster and carted away with no fanfare.


This is unrelated to the story above but I have nowhere else to post this. Does anyone happen to know what happened in the wendy’s parking lot at 5:00 am? I heard yelling and saw some guys running into cars and cabs. The cops showed up within minutes before I could even call them. Someone with a better view must of already called. Seemed serious enough, the cops were there for a while.

Oppressed Masses

Good job by the Community Board listening to and acting on residents’ complaints. These street fairs were hardly local community events.


Bring back the old Skillman Street Fairs, where the courts would bring their rummage, bands would play sets, and local restaurants would show up outside.


A street fair showcasing local businesses, organizations, schools, musicians etc would be amazing.

Matt C

Good riddance to generic street fairs!

Anything community-specific would be welcomed. Even if it’s just blocking off the street for the day to let the kids ride bikes and play while the non-profits grill burgers and hotdogs.


Bring em to 48th Ave maybe… De Mole and the Bolivian place (whose name is escaping me) could use the extra people.


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