Held annually on the second Saturday of September since 1978, the Avenues Street Fair has been bringing the local community closer together.
Run entirely by a committee of volunteers, operating under the Greater Avenues Community Council (GACC), the Fair features live music, vendors, art and a parade.
“The Avenues have a distinct feel to them as a suburban getaway from nearby downtown,” said Josh Callahan, a junior in Computer Science here at the U.
Every year, the GACC invites a local artist to create a piece representing what the Avenues means to them. The featured artist this year is a talented, young and award-winning student at West High School, Caroleine James. Her artwork has won several awards including First Place and Best of Show at the Salt Lake School District Art Fair and the Teen category for the People’s Art Gallery. James has also managed booths with her sister at Street Fairs in the past.
Her artwork, among others’, will be featured at the People’s Art Gallery, located on the south side of 6th Avenue between K and L streets. Fair-goers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces, with the winner receiving a People’s Choice Award. Prize categories include children age nine and under, youth 10-14, young adults 15-18, adult amateurs and adult professionals.
“As a resident of the Lower Avenues, my favorite part was meeting my neighbors and seeing how they were contributing to the community,” said Callahan of past fairs, explaining that the Fair offers residents a chance to experience the diversity of their neighborhood. “Many [booths] were representing different political, religious or social organizations,” said Callahan.
This year’s Children’s Parade will begin at 9 a.m. at the corner of N Street and 6th Avenue. Families are invited to get involved and children are encouraged to dress up in costumes.
A raffle called the Opportunity Drawing is held by the GACC, in association with area businesses and vendors. Though donation is not required to participate, it is highly encouraged as donations support all of the activities of the GACC.
“The most popular attraction was the live music playing on a stage set up in the middle of the street,” Callahan said.
The Fair will also feature numerous local bands on two separate stages:
On the East Stage at 6th Avenue and N Street, White Fire, All Hope Contained, Oskar & Julia, William Klinger, The Spectacles and Brown Dog Band will be performing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
On the West Stage at 6th Avenue and I Street, Wasatch Music Academy, The Performer Studio, Music Garage Band, Pheonix Jazz Band, Lake Effect and Atomic Army And The Spent Rods will be performing from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
This year’s Fair runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, along 6th Avenue between I and N Streets. Admission is free and open to all ages.
Volunteers are welcome and invited to sign up. Shifts run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. in all areas of the Fair. Applications can be found at the Avenues’ website.
According to Callahan, the fair’s artists and vendors “capture the spirit of the culture there.”