Thousands attended the Forest Hills Festival of the Arts on Austin Street, where over 150 vendors set up booths spanning seven blocks in the neighborhood’s busy business district.
“It lets people know that Forest Hills is a great up-and-coming neighborhood, that we want to attract businesses and good families here,” said Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi.
The Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce runs the event every year, and brought out 120 of its own chamber members and businesses.
“I think they like that it’s a fun family day out, and they get to see all kinds of different things,” said chamber president and executive director Leslie Brown. “They get to have fabulous entertainment. It’s just a great day to meet your neighbors and meet your business owners.”
The festival featured karate lessons and dancing, as well as the alternative-rock band Meteorana. Musician Conroy Warren and the Bruce Wayne Music Group also performed.
Speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn, Queens Borough President candidate Melinda Katz and a host of other elected officials and hopefuls were there to promote their campaigns and speak with constituents.
“It certainly helps with the economy of this community,” said Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz. “People come from all over Queens and Manhattan. People love fairs and they love to walk on a nice Sunday afternoon. This is a beautiful, beautiful event.”
The chamber runs two festivals, with the second taking place in September. There are also jazz performances each Thursday starting in August. These events draw approximately 60,000 people each year, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
“We hope that everyone will join us again in August, when we do our Jazz Thursdays,” said Brown.