BLAUVELT, N.Y. - It’s a different kind of experience compared to most street fairs and festivals at the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt’s Fall Festival.
“I think it’s the connection with the fact that we’ve been here for so long, and people come because they know the nuns, or they know that we’ve been here and that we’ve been their neighbors,” Sister Grace Augustine explained recently. Sister Augustine is an assistant principal at St. Luke School in the Bronx and has been on the festival’s board since 1992.
The first festival took place at a hotel in the Bronx in 1950, and was started by the family of Sister Mary Ellen Cameron, who celebrated her diamond jubilee this year . Three years later the festival moved to Blauvelt and is now in it’s 66th year.
In addition to the various booths and vendors like Perfectly Posh, Stella & Dot, Frisado Jewelry who were there last year, those who attend have the chance to win one of several raffles, such as a $3,000 raffle, a $1,500 raffle, and a $500 one.
Perhaps the most coveted prize—at least for football fans—are New York Giants season tickets, which are provided every year by the Mara family, Sister Augustine said.
There have been changes over the years: while the festival has downsized due to parish closures, the Fall Festival has participation from Dominican College. Student-athletes assist with the setup while other students help work the booths.
“There is a connection with the community,” Sister Augustine said.
Other attractions include pony rides and bouncy houses for children.
The festival kicks off Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 496 Western Highway in Blauvelt. Vendors can reserve a space for $50. To sign up, click here .