Brooklyn Heights

Plymouth Church’s Yankee Fair continues as one of city’s oldest street fests

History Plays Central Role in this Year’s Event

November 7, 2014 By Francesca Norsen Tate, Religion Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Fairgoers filled Hicks Street at a previous Yankee Fair. Photo courtesy of Plymouth Church
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Plymouth Church will sponsor its well-known Yankee Fair — a traditional fall festival, street fair and indoor marketplace — this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

The biannual Yankee Fair is one of the oldest continuing fairs in New York City, taking place since the Civil War when the event originally raised money for war efforts. The Yankee Fair also continues Plymouth’s spirit of community, celebrating a congregation that was founded in 1847.

The church’s founding minister was the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. During the Yankee Fair, Plymouth Church will display the apron Mrs. Beecher wore during the earliest fairs among other artifacts.

Tours of the historic Plymouth Church, which was built by New Englanders, will also be offered at the event. Lois Rosebrooks, director of Plymouth’s History Ministry Services, will lead these tours at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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Throughout the day, Orange Street between Hicks and Henry streets will be transformed into an old-fashioned carnival, complete with rides and ponies, entertainment and art activities, and a marketplace of handmade crafts, baked goods, gifts, holiday décor, lunch and more. The church’s Underground Thrift Store will also be open.

Admission to the indoor marketplace is free; wristbands will be sold for the street fair, carnival and pony rides. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.

“It’s something that the community looks forward to all year,” said Lora Churcher, chairwoman. “We have an amazing collection of handmade pillows, retro felt ornaments, aprons and gift tags. We have children who’ve made some special gifts as well. Everything looks like it belongs on Etsy.”

She added, “The committee tried to evoke the same warm feelings of a community gathering as Yankee Fair did when it first started so many years ago. We’re also mixing it up by adding fun, new elements, while keeping that retro feel of an old-fashioned fair.”

The Yankee Fair includes several activities for kids: pony rides, a bouncy house, games, magicians and a family folk concert. Adults can browse an indoor marketplace of knickknacks, children’s clothing, home décor, baked goods and more. Snacks, lunch and premade frozen meals, including lobster stew from Luke’s Lobster, will be available.

Additional attractions include: chili and cornbread, sandwiches, children’s meals, baked goods and snacks; a dress-up photo booth; Liam the Magician, presenting at 11 a.m.; and Niko’s Kids, a local children’s band, who will perform a family folk concert at 1 p.m.

All proceeds from Yankee Fair will benefit the restoration and maintenance of Plymouth’s historic buildings, playground improvements and John’s Bread and Life, the Brooklyn-based initiative that fights local hunger and poverty.


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