Nothing says summer better than a street fair.
Face painting, Italian sausage, funnel cake and impromptu dance contests commanded Flatbush Avenue from Parkside Avenue to Cortelyou Road Sunday, June 14.
The annual street fair kicks off what many view as summer vacation despite the first day of summer being a week away.
Selena Redmon, a Flatbush resident of Belizean descent, has attended the Flatbush Avenue Fair ever since she moved to Hawthorne Street in her teens. “As a kid, I used to walk up and down Flatbush with my friends thinking of all the different things we wanted to do once school was officially over,” Redmon said. “Even though I knew school probably had a good two weeks left, the Flatbush Fair just always seemed like summer’s official kick off.”
Vendors lined the streets offering promotional material for local businesses that line the block. At the corner of Flatbush and Caton avenues, merchants from the Caton Market dominated with selections from their stalls.
Other vendors made their way to the street fair with hopes of introducing their art, jewelry or clothing to a new audience.
Antz Mathieu, a Haitian artist who uses bamboo to create picture frames and tea sets, said, “This is my first time but I participate in any fair. It’s an opportunity to meet a lot of people and show them what I can do.”
Music dominated every street corner as DJs encouraged crowds to dance and lime with each other. Reggae and Soca tracks could be heard and high school aged and younger kids battled to prove who can ‘wuk up’ the best for street recognition.
“I used to feel like I was going to be the next Dancehall queen with the crowd surrounding me like that,” Redmon said.
For residents such as Redmon, the fair is an annual event to indulge in the tastes of summer and enjoy a hot day as a family.
“It’s almost like a family tradition. My mom would take me, then I grew up and wanted to roam the streets with just my friends and now I have my son and can watch him get excited with all the cotton candy and fair rides,” Redmon said.
Get ready for the official day of summer this Sunday, June 21 and look forward to the next Flatbush Avenue fair in 2016.