Summer may be winding down, and the various weekly arts gatherings around Jersey City’s Grove Street may have ended for the 2011 season, but there’s plenty of fun still in store for downtown this fall, starting this weekend.
On Saturday, Sept. 17 the Historic Downtown Special Improvement District will host the first annual All About Downtown Street Fair from noon until 7 p.m.
The free day-long celebration of all things downtown will feature live entertainment, vendors, artists, retail deals from local businesses, and rides for the kids.
Naturally there will be ample representation from the Jersey City Craft Mafia.
Given the huge amount of foot traffic, cultural activities, and companies located in what is typically regarded as downtown, it may seem strange that the HDSID sees a need to promote local businesses there.
But Nikol Floros, executive director of the HDSID said promotion of the area is indeed necessary.
“You know, when people think of ‘downtown,’ they assume it covers Newark [Avenue] and Jersey [Avenue]. But ‘downtown’ really doesn’t include those areas,” said Floros. “Downtown really is just the waterfront. And I think, yes, people are pretty aware of what the waterfront has to offer. But I think people forget about the businesses on Newark, Jersey, Montgomery, Grove.”
For the fair, which will be concentrated along Newark Avenue and Jersey Avenue, local businesses will have sales and sidewalk specials typically not offered. Weather permitting, restaurants, said Floros, will open up their sidewalk dining areas as well.
Not surprisingly the fair will feature artists, artisans, crafters, nonprofits and food vendors, as well as other special entertainment.
The kid-friendly fair will also include a bounce house, face painting, and other entertainment for younger members of the family.
“Ultimately, we want people to remember that they can do a lot of their shopping right here along the Newark and Jersey corridor,” said Floros. “They don’t always have to go over to Newport [Centre] Mall. We want people to remember to support these small, independent mom and pop businesses.”
E-mail E. Assata Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.