The annual Fresh Pond Road Street Festival in September has been subject to opposition for decades, and this year is no exception.
“It certainly presents its shared difficulties,” said Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5. “It makes things difficult in that area of Ridgewood.”
The festival closes down Fresh Pond Road from Woodbine Avenue to Menahan Street and stretches over a four-day period; some days, the fair gates don’t close until midnight. Select community board members see no reason in having it last for as long as it does, or as late.
“Most members would prefer that it be just on a Sunday, like the other festivals are,” said Giordano. “It’s a very busy area. Fresh Pond Road is a major north-south artery,” which many residents depend on. Having it closed for so long can affect people during their day-to-day commutes, he noted.
Despite the opposition, the Community Board voted for the festival to go on as planned, with 22 for, 14 against and one abstention. The event brings economic benefits to the area, and is very popular when the weather is nice.
“With every passing year, there’s less opposition,” admitted Giordano, who also said it is very popular among the neighborhood’s children.
This year, residents can attend the festival from September 5 to September 7 from 5 p.m. to midnight, and September 8 from 5 to 10 p.m.