Mission & History
The Avenues Street Fair is held annually on the second Saturday of September. The fair spans five blocks and features live entertainment at each end. Fair attendance is free to all. The Fair features and celebrates local talent and artistry. In addition, local food vendors, non-profit organizations and small businesses take the opportunity to be known in the community.
The Street Fair has its origins dating to 1978 when the Avenues Restoration Association began holding house tours, antiques sales, tool exchanges and parties on nearby lawns. Their first t-shirt depicted “God’s finger” (a la Michelangelo) touching the Avenues. Later, as the fair developed and expanded, vendors were added, home tours were dropped (the Utah Heritage Foundation now conducts those) and bands such as Joe Mescolino and Brown Baggers donated music. Police provided barriers to close off the streets, neighbors pitched in their garbage cans and electricity, LDS wards offered their restrooms and Bill Spencer at 8th Avenue Market offered good deals on soda and beer. These early events grew in to the Street Fair we know today, operated under the umbrella of the Greater Avenues Community Council (GACC).
Planning for the Fair begins months before, in March. Numerous permits are obtained from the City and County; booth applications are taken, a featured artist is selected, people’s art is solicited, children’s parade and activity area are developed, recycle and trash bins, water and porta-potties and street signs are ordered; neighbors are contacted; bands are solicited to play music, all by teams of volunteers. It is truly an event that brings people together. Today the Street Fair remains a celebration of our homes, our art and our neighborhood.
The Street Fair is an all-volunteer event. The committee consists of anyone with an interest in having a fun time putting a fair together. Meetings to organize the event are held beginning in March. All the GACC Board members pitch in and help in many ways, but numerous volunteers come for several hours to help set up, take down or run a booth for the GACC.