Eight Avenue Fall Festival Offers Array of Sights and Surprises



In Midtown on Oct. 9, under a grey sky and occasional drops of rain, vendors from all over the United States and abroad, set their stands along the sides of 8th Avenue between 42nd street and 57th street.

Just a few streets from Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), the event proved a perfect way to spend a calm Sunday afternoon- especially as a pause from midterm studying. The atmosphere was definitely relaxed but interesting at the same time. At the very start of the fair in fact I found a music band from Colombia playing, surrounded by groups of people- some clapping their hands, some dancing to the music.

As I proceeded through the street, I was almost overwhelmed by the variety of seasonal treats that the stands offered. Corn, fresh smoothies or juices, funnel cakes and apple candies are the usual habits at the New York street fairs. The new entries taking over from the summery goods for the Fall festival were seasonal treats, such as pumpkin cakes. A variety of international foods, such as French crepes and Italian cannolis were served as well. The Kettle Corn NYC seemed to be one of the most popular ones. It offered samples of several types of popcorn: original, chocolate, caramel and cinnamon.

The fair also proved a perfect occasion to find “interesting items,” as the sign of one stands suggested, for cheap prices. One of these was the “sound activated LED equalizer” T-shirts, which animate at the sound of music, thanks to a sound activated illuminating, panel. After an explanation about their characteristics, I was seriously perplexed about my knowledge of technology. They included an adjustable volume sensor for the flashing speed and a removable battery for wash… amazing.

As I headed downtown toward the last part of the fair, I followed the procession of the annual celebration of the Señor de los Milagros (the Lord of the Miracles). The celebration, as a woman carrying incense in the procession named Marisue explained to me, has origins from the city of Lima, Peru.  It consists of the veneration of 17th century mural paintings by a black slave, representing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and is celebrated with processions all around the world.

Every year as the Eighth Avenue Fall Festival takes place, the community of the church Iglesia San Malaquias, walks in procession here in order to make people more aware of this celebration.

Marisue did not hide her happiness about my interest and gave me a small wood cross as a gift and a card, which said “El valor de tu cruz,” or “The courage of your cross.”

New York is capable of satisfying every type of person in every occasion by offering an enormous variety of events as the Eighth Avenue Fall Festival. Other fairs will take place in New York throughout October- here’s a list:

Soho Autumn Fair
Date: Saturday, Oct. 13
Location: Broadway from Houston to Canal Street.


Greenwich Avenue Festival
Date: Saturday, Oct. 13
Location: Greenwich Avenue from 6th Avenue to 7th Avenue


38th Annual Americana Jazz Festival
Date: Sat., Oct. 20
Location: 52nd Street from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue.


Christopher Street Festival
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
Location: Christopher Street from 7th Avenue to Greenwich Avenue.


Manhattan Republican Club Union Square Fair
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
Location: 6th Avenue From 14th Street to 23rd Street.


Times Square Autumn Carnival
Date: Sunday, Oct. 21
Location: Broadway from 47th Street to 57th Street


Manhattan Avenue Festival
Date: Sunday, Oct. 21
Location: Manhattan Avenue from Bedford to Greenpoint, Brooklyn


Grand Central Fair
Date: Friday, Oct. 26
Location: East 45th Street between Madison Avenue and Vanderbilt Avenue


Lexington Avenue Fall Festival
Date: Saturday, Oct. 27
Location: Lexington Avenue from 42nd Street to 57th Street