Willowtown Fair Saturday, May 14, to Celebrate Maritime Heritage

This in from Ben Bankson, President of the Willowtown Association:

A treasure hunt with a historic focus and lobster rolls served by Iris Café are among ways this year’s Spring Fair sponsored by the Willowtown Association will celebrate the maritime heritage of Willowtown in Brooklyn Heights.

The fair will take place Saturday, May 14, from noon to 5 p.m. the full length of Columbia Place. An opening rally at noon at the corner of Joralemon Street and Columbia Place will feature remarks by Martin L. Schneider, author of “Battling for Brooklyn Heights: The Fight for New York’s First Historic District.” Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

“Willowtown has always had a close connection to the waterfront,” stated the association’s president, Ben Bankson. “Its development followed the start of a ferry service in 1836 from Manhattan to the foot of Atlantic Avenue. In the early years the waterfront at Joralemon was a popular fishing spot. During World War II the community teemed with port workers and sailors. And now new life has come in the development of the popular Brooklyn Bridge Park and its activities centered on the East River.”

Iris Café and the restaurant River Deli will provide the food served at the fair. Gardeners who have plots in Mickel’s Community Garden on Columbia Place will sell plants. Willowtown merchandise for sale will include postcards showing local scenes. Blue-grass music will be performed throughout the afternoon by a group called the Five Deadly Venons. A display will show old maps of the waterfront.

Among the activities offered will be a knot workshop led by cinematographer Chris Scarafile of Willow Place, a self-guided walking tour, a silent auction, a Jumpy Castle, face painting, races with medals for the winners and standing games.

Photo: Planners of the 2011 Willowtown Spring Fair are, from left, Ben Bankson, Libby Cooper, Jeffrey Streem, Linda De Rosa, Bradley Smith, Clair Brew (holding her daughter Darwin) and Seth Murphy.

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