It is something that village residents and people from afar look forward to every year—the Mineola Street Fair. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mineola Street Fair, which was set for Sunday, Oct. 4, has been canceled.
“The planning was going well and we were on track to where we usually are at this time,” Mineola Chamber of Commerce president Joel Harris said. “We started using an event planner a couple of years ago to help us engage retail and food vendors as well as rides and activities for the kids.”
Everything was going according to plan to hold the street fair responsibly, which takes over a large part of Jericho Turnpike and Willis Avenue, with social distancing protocols in place until the chamber board had its most recent meeting.
“We discussed [the street fair] at our monthly board meeting,” Harris explained. “We knew that it would be more difficult as we got closer to the date and certainly did not want to add to any negative impact to our vendors and all the other people who help make this happen. Erring on the side of caution, and recognizing that safety is paramount we know that we had to cancel.”
The chamber has already begun working on planning the 2021 Mineola Street Fair that will be dedicated to all the essential workers who faced COVID-19 head on.
Despite the negative news of the street fair cancellation, there is at least one positive note when it comes to outdoor dining that was brought about from the pandemic.
“Outdoor dining was an initiative from the village and the chamber was part of the committee,” Harris said. “It appears that the outdoor dining is working well with all the challenges. This was certainly needed for our restaurants. While they are still not operating at maximum capacity, they are able to have some diners at their establishments. The village also put up the ‘15 minute only’ parking signs strategically through the village making it easier for customers to be able to park and pick up food.”
So what does the Mineola Chamber of Commerce have planned for the rest of the year? The answer isn’t so clear.
“To be honest, we are not sure what we will be able to do in light of the current pandemic,” Harris said. “Anything we do must be allowed under strict guidelines and ensuring safety to our community.”
For more information about the Mineola Chamber of Commerce, visit mineolachamber.com.