Annual Street Fair draws large crowds

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — Residents flocked downtown Saturday, June 2, for the annual Street Fair, which featured a classic car and motorcycle show, booths manned by local businesses and food vendors, hosted for a fourth year by the Downtown West Orange Alliance. Held on Main Street between Babcock Place and Charles Street, the street fair was held in conjunction with the Thomas Edison National Historical Park’s Edison Day, and admission to the Edison museum was free all day.

“We work with the Friends of Edison to save the date and partner with them on their day,” DWOA Executive Director Megan Brill said in an interview with the West Orange Chronicle at the event. “We want to have a community event that introduces our businesses to our residents.”

While this was the fourth street fair held in partnership with the Edison museum, it was the 16th year the event has taken place. With the street blocked off for the day, Brill said residents were able to park in the CVS parking lot to have access on and off the street.

“The Downtown Alliance is getting more popular, our reputation is growing,” Brill said. “We’re able to give attention to more of the local businesses.”

There were 30 West Orange businesses featured on Main Street and 75 from the surrounding areas, 13 of which were food vendors. Some vendors used the event to get the word out about their businesses, like Wichdogs Street Food & Catering. The new business doesn’t have a storefront yet, but hopes to expand to West Orange within the next year.

“We started in March, and we’ve mostly been doing events like this,” Nicole Busley, an owner of Wichdogs, said in an interview with the Chronicle at the event. “We’re hoping to get a food truck and then go to brick and mortar.”

Busley and her partner, Keith Slader, have worked in restaurants for years and decided they needed a change. The two have lived in West Orange for a year.

“We were tired of working nights and weekends so we decided to take control of our lives a little bit and do our own thing,” Slader said to the Chronicle at the event. “Our goal is to have a truck in about a year.”

Township Council President Susan McCartney also attended the street fair.

“There’s a lot of fun to be had on Main Street,” she said in an interview with the Chronicle at the event. “Combining Edison with the Downtown Alliance has been great for both. It generates so many more people, so there’s so much more going on and it’s pooling our resources.”

Photos by Amanda Valentovic