Street Fairs – Orange, VA
What is a street fair?
What happens at the street fair and why are they popular?
Why should people go?
On Saturday, September 7th, 2013, 9am – 5pm, RAIN OR SHINE, on Main Street in Orange, VA, for the 38th Annual Orange Street Festival. This year’s festival includes live entertainment, arts and crafts vendors, family and children’s activities, a beverage garden, fantastic food, and plenty of opportunities to promote your business! With over 10,000 in attendance, this is the place to advertise! Since I have family down in Orange, it is always fun every 2nd Saturday in September to go there and take part in all the merriment. Orange is an area also that is rich in history and tradition. This is one of the things I miss from New York City (Manhattan), where there are so many street fairs or festivals in any given month and each one has its own unique flavor and can stretch on for many blocks.
A Street fair is a fair that celebrates the character of a neighborhood. As the name suggests, it is usually held on the main street of a neighborhood. The principal component of street fairs are booths used to sell goods, (particularly food) or convey information; sometimes they have carnival rides and parades, as well. Many have live music and dance demonstrations. Some street fairs generally held during the period of a saint’s feast (such as San Gennaro in New York) and in the precincts of his church or abbey. However, in some localities this was seen as the desecration of a church or churchyard and therefore forbidden. In these areas the Fairs were held on Village Greens or open land near or within towns. These fairs were not permanent and merchants set up their wares in temporary tents.
Although the main objective of the fairs continues to be trade and commerce, every fair contained some element of merry-making. Possibly starting from merchants trying to sell their goods, people were determined to attract the most customers to their stalls. Therefore, from a very early date, there was always fun at the fair. Any entertainment to attract a crowd, singers, musicians, acrobats, stilt walkers and fools. Some fairs even included various contests such as archery tournaments. There is always a great many chances for fun at any fair.
They are usually no more than a few blocks long, although some fairs, such as the 9th Avenue International Food Festival held in New York City and the Solano Stroll in Northern California extend more than a mile. A fair only one block long is commonly called a block party. Street fairs vary greatly in character, even within one city. For example, the annual street fairs in Seattle, include the University District Street Fair, featuring the work of numerous craftspeople, and requiring that the person who actually made the goods that are for sale must be present in their own booth; the Fremont Fair features crafts from around the world, as well as the Summer Solstice Parade and Pageant, famed for its painted naked cyclists. In the same city the Capitol Hill Block Party fences off several blocks, charges admission, and features many of the city’s best known rock bands while the Chinatown-International District Summer Fair has a distinctly Asian-American and Pacific Islander flavor, with taiko drummers, martial arts demonstrations, and Hawaiian dance.