Democrat Photo by Rob Potter
WHAT A CROWD: An estimated record crowd of 15,000 attended the annual Founders Day Street Fair in Wurtsboro. With sunny skies and warm temperatures, the 10th annual fair was quite a success.
Record 15,000 Show Up At
Wurtsboro Street Fair
By Rob Potter
WURTSBORO Thousands of people, hundreds of vendors and sunny weather helped make Saturdays Founders Day Street Fair in Wurtsboro a big success.
Fair organizers estimated that 15,000 people attended the street fair, which featured nearly 150 vendors offering food, drinks, handmade crafts, clothing and many other items. Among the other attractions were several bands playing a variety of music, the Orange County Antique Auto Club and its members displaying dozens of classic automobiles and several carnival-like rides for children.
Fireworks were planned for Saturday night following the close of the street fair, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary.
This is the most vendors we have ever had, the most people weve had and the best weather weve had, said Dali Roosa, who is the chairman of the fair, which is sponsored by the Wurtsboro Board of Trade. I guess you could just label this the best-ever street fair.
Scores of people smiled as they walked along the street, occasionally stopping for a cold drink or snack, tapping their foot to the music or playing a game.
Among those enjoying the day were nine-year-old Robbie Steiger, his mother Kelly Steiger and grandmother Mary Haviland.
This is a beautiful day for a street fair, said Kelly Steiger as she watched Jodie McPhillips carefully paint a colorful peace frog on Robbies arm.
As McPhillips applied the finishing touches to her artwork, Robbie Steiger noted that his favorite part of the street fair was the dart games.
McPhillips, along with her business partner Kerri Tillinghast, were among a few vendors who featured face painting at the fair. They also had hand painted signs and painted childrens clothing on sale.
This is a great street fair, Tillinghast commented.
There is such a wonderful turnout, added McPhillips. It was a great idea to be here.
Everyone seemed to share those sentiments, including Ronnie Heller. Heller and her mother sold cold drinks to the large crowd while sitting in front of what remained of Hellers business, D & R Feed and Pet Supply.
Shortly after 3 a.m. Thursday, a fire broke out at D & R. Although the Wurtsboro Fire Department was quickly summoned, the inside of the building was severely damaged and over 50 animals, including birds, snakes, lizards and gerbils, were killed as a result of the smoke and flames.
But Heller, standing on the sidewalk in front of D & R, which was covered by a huge blue tarp, was determined to be a part of the street fair.
She is just as eager to re-open the store. While the store may not be located in the same building, Heller said she definitely intends to reopen somewhere in the village. She is hoping to do so in the near future, perhaps in a month or two.
The community has been fantastic, Heller said. And the Wurtsboro Board of Trade has been great. Everybody has been asking if there is anything they can do for me. I cant say enough about the support from the Board of Trade members and the community.
Heller noted that several area children were saddened by the fact that so many animals perished in the fire. As a result, Heller and the children planned to give the deceased creatures a proper funeral on Sunday afternoon.