The Walnut Street Fair is back, after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, and will have more than 150 vendors along the road on Sunday, May 7.
The event, which when it started in 2013 attracted 20 vendors, will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will include live music, food trucks, a beer garden and a “kids zone.” Walnut will be closed from Grove Street to Forest Street from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The fair started when Rachel Wyman, owner of Rabble Rise Doughnuts, now on Label Street but previously on Walnut, wanted to celebrate the first anniversary of Walnut Street businesses, like Montclair BABY, Red Eye Cafe and Le Salbuen.
Event organizers Stephanie Hutton and Jessica Lane, of the Junior League of Montclair-Newark, are excited to welcome back the crowd this year. Through their organization, Hutton and Lane helped Wyman organize her Montclair Bread and Co. 5K Doughnut Run. When Wyman moved her business from Walnut Street, she left the fair in the hands of the Junior League.
The league is a nonprofit that promotes volunteerism, development of the potential of women and improvement of the community through education and charity. After the league became the sole organizer of the event, the fair brought in crowds of 7,500 to 10,000 people before the pandemic.
“We have really focused on growing the event and wanting to just make it one of the staple events of our community,” Hutton said.
The event is free and will include such activities as a petting zoo, adult and kid yoga classes and a kids zone. The Montclair Art Museum art truck and the Montclair Public Library bookmobile will be present.
The fair will also highlight various organizations in town, like the Montclair Volunteer Ambulance Unit, which will be celebrating its 70th anniversary. Restaurants along Walnut, including Egan and Sons, will have special menus or will hold an activity.
“It’s going to be a fun time for the families to spend some time outdoors together,” Hutton said. “This is our main fundraiser for the year, so they are supporting a local nonprofit that has served the community for over 100 years.”