New Hyde Park’s annual street fair canceled; replaced with Community Day

Jessica Parks
A girl checks out a toy from one of about 250 vendors at last Saturday's New Hyde Park Street Fair. The 22nd annual event drew thousands of people to Jericho Turnpike. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

The Village of New Hyde Park canceled its 24th annual street fair, to be replaced with Community Day at Memorial Park on Sept. 14.

At a February meeting, the village board announced it was “seriously reconsidering” holding the street fair because of construction in the area, which includes a six-month closure on Covert Avenue that began April 15.

The Covert Avenue closure would only be blocks away from Jericho Turnpike where the fair has traditionally been held.

Community Day will avoid possible traffic and safety hazards from local construction due to its location in Memorial Park, which is several blocks north of Jericho Turnpike and a block west of New Hyde Park Road.

Last year the 23rd annual New Hyde Park street fair, sponsored by Northwell Health, saw about 200 businesses and vendors attend. People of all ages found entertainment in attractions ranging from live music to inflatable children’s rides.

Village officials said the switch to Community Day is more or less a change of location, and encouraged community businesses to get involved as they have in years past.

Covert Avenue is expected to be closed between 1st and 5th avenues for six months to accommodate a grade crossing elimination and the construction of an underpass for vehicular travel.

The Covert Avenue grade crossing is one of seven grade crossings that will be eliminated between Floral Park and Hicksville as part of the MTA’s project to build a third electrified track on the line.

The MTA projects the LIRR Expansion Project to be completed by 2022 and said it will enable “true bi-directional service” during peak hours for the first time in Long Island history.

Once grade crossings are eliminated, trains will no longer need to blast their horns and crossing gate bells will become unnecessary, which will reduce noise, the MTA said.  It is estimated that the crossing gates are down 50 percent of the time during rush hour.

“This highly disruptive project will transform New Hyde Park forever,” New Hyde Park Mayor Lawrence Montreuil said in the village’s April newsletter. “Eliminating the crossing gates that have caused countless hours of delays, deafening horn blasts and far too many deaths throughout its long history.”

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Jessica Parks

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