Brooklyn Heights

A perfect day for the 2024 Willowtown Spring Fair

May 20, 2024 Mary Frost
It’s a pretty good day when you can wear rainbow butterfly wings and ride a mini-merry-go-round.
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Willow Place was a pretty great place to be on Saturday, as the block between Joralemon and State streets was filled with games, rides, crafts, music and more for the Willowtown Association’s annual Spring Fair. 

Papa Vega’s Dream Shadow Band played mellow country-western tunes while kids jumped in the bouncy castle and rode a mini-merry-go-round and got their faces painted. Firefighters from FDNY Engine Co. 224 boosted kids up to tour the firetruck — until they got a call and had to zoom off.

Volunteers Thomas Martin (left) and Varick Cohen man the table holding Chris Scarafile’s display of 40-year-old collectibles. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

Everyone wanted to try their hand shooting Nerf darts at an amazing display of Star Wars models, toy soldiers, G.I. Joes and other collectibles belonging to Willowtown Association board member Chris Scarafile. 

“It’s my childhood collection,” Scarafile told the Brooklyn Eagle. “In my bachelor apartment I set up a whole battle scene.” While sharp shooters could win Nerf blasters, the real prize was being able to shoot at the 40-year-old models with the Nerf darts, he said. The models “can still take a beating.”

Firefighters from FDNY Engine Co. 224 boosted kids up to tour the firetruck — until they had to zoom off. From left: FDNY Lt. Shaun Hughes, Firefighter John Cialino, Firefighter Robert Abbadessa, Willowtown Association President Linda DeRosa and Firefighter Herby Simonis. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

Overseeing the Nerf blasters were friends Thomas Martin and Varick Cohen. This was the third year they volunteered, Martin said. “Giving blasters away to prize winners is a fun experience,” he said.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” cracked Cohen.

Children’s book illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg signed copies of her classic “Mermaids on Parade,” which is on Brooklyn Public Library’s “Essential Brooklyn Books” list. Other activities included a sing-along by the Heights Players and an old-fashioned tug-of-war (everyone was a winner).

Vinita Neves and her daughter Courtney Davy volunteer at the sandwich table. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

“The Fair has become an annual anticipated event here in Willowtown,” said Willowtown Association President Linda DeRosa. “This year’s generous support from friends, families and businesses showed us how much community means.”

DeRosa said the organization will use the funds raised for Open Streets beautification, Adam Yauch Dog Run improvements and the 2025 Spring Fair.

This artist is herself covered with spring flowers. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle

The shady enclave of Willowtown is tucked into the southwest corner of Brooklyn Heights. The Willowtown Association is collecting documents, photos and other memorabilia to preserve the unique history of the neighborhood, and hopes to donate the entire collection to the Center for Brooklyn History.

Volunteers Andy Reynolds (left) and Ann Allen-Ryan. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
This face painter fans her subject’s face to dry the artwork. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
Everyone wanted to try their hand shooting Nerf darts at an amazing display of Star Wars models and other collectibles belonging to Willowtown resident Chris Scarafile. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
This amazing display of Star Wars models, toy soldiers and other collectibles belongs to Willowtown Association board member Chris Scarafile, seen here adjusting their positioning. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
This amazing display of Star Wars models, toy soldiers and other collectibles belongs to Willowtown Association board member Chris Scarafile, seen here adjusting their positioning. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
Papa Vega’s Dream Shadow Band played mellow country-western tunes at the Willowtown Spring Fair. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
Kids playing with the heavy equipment at the Willowtown Fair. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
Magician Michael Kuerane hands this happy girl a balloon animal. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
Children's book illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg signed copies of her classic "Mermaids on Parade." Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
Children’s book illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg signed copies of her classic “Mermaids on Parade.” Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
Members of the Heights Players, which is celebrating its 68th season this year. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
Jeffrey Streem announces the activities at the Willowtown Spring Fair on Saturday. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
The bouncy castle is always a hit! Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
Willowtown Association board member Aysha Ames (left) with volunteer Gabby. Photo: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle
It was manos a manos in the old-fashioned tug-of-war at the Willowtown Spring Fair. Photos by Linda DeRosa
It was manos a manos in the old-fashioned tug-of-war at the Willowtown Spring Fair. Photos by Linda DeRosa


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