Despite the threat of rain hanging over Jackson Avenue the entire day, the Syosset-Woodbury Chamber of Commerce successfully pulled off their annual street fair—a fun, family-friendly event that highlighted local businesses throughout the area.
Chanbir Kaur, chamber president and manager of Bridgehampton National Bank in Woodbury, noted that the street fair is held to offer a sincere thanks to a community that supports their local businesses each and every year, in addition to providing a venue or merchants to make themselves more visible to the public in which they serve.
“As the new businesses are coming into the area, they want to showcase what they do, and that’s great,” she said. “Overall, we have at least 64 vendors here, ranging from clothing, food, real estate, crafts, just about anything and everything you can think of.”
Each vendor was housed in a booth running down Jackson Avenue—which was closed to vehicle traffic—from Underhill Boulevard to the Syosset Fire Department building. In addition, there were a plethora of fun attractions for attendees to participate in, from inflatable rides, tasty treats, face painting and entertainment by local dance schools, showcased on the stage of one of the Town of Oyster Bay’s showmobiles, including students from the iSchool of Music as well as the band from Syosset High School.
Heather Briand of Levittown made the trek with her husband and two children to enjoy the fair and help support a friend of hers, who owns a gallery in the area.
“We’ve come here the past two years, and the street fair is always a wonderful event,” she said. “There’s always great, fun things for the kids to do and it’s just such a nice area to spend an afternoon.”
Kaur, who concludes her two-year term as chamber president in six months, looked back fondly upon a tenure that was filled with hard work and progress for the area’s business community.
“I feel great. I think it’s great to see new business owners coming in,” she said. “We have a law firm that just came in and some retail stores and franchises that opened within the last year…it’s nice to see people coming back in and investing in their own neighborhoods. A lot of these people grew up here, and they’re bringing their families back to have their kids go to school here…it’s a great place to live and have a business.”
Also of note was a recruitment drive at the street fair held by the Syosset Fire Department. According to EMS Captain Melissa Frolich, the department is always looking for new members to swell their ranks.
“We are a volunteer service, so we’re trying to get more people to volunteer for the Syosset Fire Department,” she said. “Either firefighters, EMS, or even both, we’re trying to get as many people as we can, because the more people we have, the better we can service the community.”
Plainview resident Sally Masters noted that she always attends the street fair because of the variety of craft and plant vendors. The rainy forecast for the day wasn’t enough to drive her away from the action, she said.
“It’s just a cute event. It reminds me of the fair my local Plainview chamber holds ever year at the library,” she said. “In today’s economy, it’s hard for small businesses to stand out, and this gives them a chance to do so. Plus, I get to load up on some great crafts for my grandkids, so everyone wins.”
Joseph Flanston of Farmingdale was attending the fair that day to scope out the business climate in Syosset. Weighing the possibility of opening a restaurant in the area, he said that he was impressed and will likely start sniffing around for potential locations.
“I’ve always wanted to open my own business, but I want to do so in an area whose chamber actively supports its members. I’ve talked to a few people, and the Syosset chamber seems to be what I’m looking for,” he said. “Plus, they throw charming events like this street fair, and things like this are great for local business.”
The influx of new merchants and retailers into the Syosset-Woodbury area is a major boon for the community, Kaur said, illustrated by the fact that housing is becoming hard to come by.
“There are hardly any houses for sale, and the ones that are on the market go within two to three weeks,” she said. “People want to live here, work here, open businesses here, and it’s a great thing.”