Thousands of people gathered at Ossining’s historic downtown despite the threat of bad weather during the 31st annual Ossining Village Fair. Covering the majority of the downtown historic area, the fair featured 156 Vendors, four stages, five D.J.s, two live bands, performances from children in area schools, martial arts demonstrations and even an Elvis impersonator.
“18,000 people came last year,” said Gayle Marchica president of the Ossining Chamber of Commerce. “This is the fair to be in for a lot of people…We have a lot of community businesses. A lot of our Chamber members have booths so they are advertising their businesses.”
The Village Fair highlighted the best of Ossining’s diversity. There was literally something for everyone, from the martial demonstrations from the UMAC Marital Arts Center, to the Ossining Public Library selling used books for just a few cents, to jewelry, fine art, food and community groups such as the Boy Scouts and the Ossining Little League. In addition, many local businesses came out to support the fair and community such as Great Clips hair salon, Phelps Memorial Hospital Center, and Briarcliff Pediatric Dentistry.
“It seems to be a nice mix of adult and kid activities… some food choices which seem a little healthier than at a lot of other fairs which is good,” said Jordan Rhett from Vermont, who was in town visiting his mom with his two sons.
One of the elements that set the Ossining fair apart from other village fairs was the strong presence of faith and spiritually with many booths from local churches from St. Ann’s Catholic Church to the Trinity Episcopal Church which was advertising for choir members.
“We do have many churches,” Marchica said. “We have a church tour of Ossining starting at noon.”
“All the churches are very active,” said Sally Evans, a member of Trinity Episcopalian church. “Its fun I like it [the fair]. It’s a good way for people to get out there and been known. It gets bigger every year. “
Like many community traditions, this street fair meant more to some residents than just food, jewelry and a good time. It really was about the town coming together to celebrate each other and everything that's good in Ossining.
“This fair is our biggest event of the year and it’s the event that pulls the community together and allows us [the Chamber of Commerce] to give back by organizing this and promoting local business…we need to impress the point to shop local and keep the money here,” Marchica said.
“I like to be able to see people I only see once a year. I know a lot of people come into town," said Bob Davis, a longtime village resident. "It’s a wonderful event."