Save Hester Street Fair
Save Hester Street Fair
Hester Street Fair was founded in 2010 by three locals with a desire to transform an empty lot for the fun and benefit of the community. The lot is owned by Seward Park Housing Corporation (SPHC) in New York City's Lower East Side.
Considered to be the most accessible market in NYC, the price to participate is under $100. Aiming to provide vendors with adequate support, each participant is provided with free tents, and chairs and tables for $5 and $10. As a result, Hester Street Fair was the keystone in hundreds of local and national businesses making their first dollar, many of which opened their own brick and mortar stores in the neighborhood.
The Hester Street Fair lease ended in 2020, but because of the pandemic our original meeting with the SPHC board was consistently pushed back. When NYC reopened to the public at 25% capacity, the Hester Street Fair signed an amendment to our lease and opened with tremendous success, operating consistently on both Saturdays and Sundays.
With nothing but praise from the SPHC General Manager, Hester Street Fair has celebrated the community of the Lower East Side 11 years, and started to plan the upcoming fair in late December and early January. Since there is no cash flow during the first quarter of the year, Hester Street Fair relies on the upcoming season to pay back it's operating expenses.
In late February we were finally able to present a general presentation to the board to discuss the renewal of our lease. Again a lot of praise with no feedback or questions from the board. Two days prior to the meeting we decided to accept pre-applications, as a way to show the commitment and interest from our community, and received 110 applications resulting in a total of 850 booths booked in 48 hours.
Exactly four weeks before our scheduled Season 12 opening on April 10th, we received an email stating the board wants to consider a different operator, and not allow us to proceed with the programming. We urge the board and the potential new operator to allow us, our vendors, and partners to finish what we started, to continue the fair for this season, and give us the time to transition to a new location.
We have worked with the board, the community, our neighbors, local politicians, 7th precinct, and more for so long, and we feel as though we were not given a fair chance to communicate, understand the needs of the board, or counter offer.
This petition is about your support to stay at our original location for another year or to help us find a new location this Season.
If you have been to Hester Street Fair and want to share a memory online please use the hashtag #savehesterstreetfair to show your support.