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Festivals in Focus: Fair Haven Day Festival

As celebrated by the recent “Value of Downtown” study from the International Downtown Association, each year, downtown New Haven plays host to more than 16 annual festivals and parades. Our downtown area sits among the most culturally diverse in the country, and largely due to our annual festival circuit. One of those beloved festivals is returning to the Elm City this month, the Fair Haven Day Festival.

Brought to downtown by the International Festival of Arts & Ideas and taking place on Saturday, May 4th at 12:00PM, the festival stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of artists and neighbors that make up the Fair Haven community, celebrating its diverse hues, local artisans, and visionary entrepreneurs. The tradition behind the Fair Haven Day Festival began more than 20 years ago, and after a brief hiatus, was reintroduced a few years ago by the Mary Wade Home, an assisted living facility in New Haven. 

This year’s festivities begin with the lively Fair Haven Community Parade, organized by the Mary Wade Home. Everyone is invited to join, with participants gathering at John S. Martinez School at 9:30AM, officially beginning at 10AM. By 11AM, our group of marching locals will arrive at the Fair Haven School to kick off the day’s festival. 

Following the parade, guests are encouraged to mix and mingle over a slew of activities, from basketball games with the New Haven Heat, to public sword fighting demonstrations from Laurel City Swords, to a bike rodeo with NCAT and giveaway from New Haven Bike Month. There will also be plenty to learn, with representatives from such organizations as The Yale Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science and the Eli Whitney Museum & Workshop, plus a capoeira workshop!

If last year’s festival was any indication, we’ll see you – all of you – in line for the delicious food trucks lining the streets. Attendees can look forward to bites from such local gems as Mamoun’s Cart, Jericho’s Casa, Sweetness Bites, and Coco Helado. 

The Fair Haven Day Festival transcends entertainment and represents more than a single Saturday in downtown; it celebrates the rich identity of Fair Haven, and the entire city of New Haven. Between sword fights and basketball games, the event fosters harmony between long-time locals and curious newcomers. With that, all that’s left to do is attend. Will we see you there?

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