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Weekend arts fair shows Bayside BID is back

Tao Bea An leads the Culture and Arts Center group in a previous street fair organized by the Bayside Village Business Improvement District.
TimesLedger Newspapers

For the first time since newly appointed Executive Director Lyle Sclair was installed in April, the Bayside Village Business Improvement District will be in full effect holding its first public event of 2012 off Bell Boulevard come Saturday.

A summer arts fair will kick off at 11 a.m. June 9 on 41st Avenue between Bell Boulevard and 213th Street, marking what the BID called northeast Queens’ premier event of its kind. More than 40 booths of arts and food vendors as well as entertainers will line the street near the Bayside Long Island Rail Road station to celebrate more than just the beginning of summer.

After being criticized by some BID members for not being visible enough in the community, the board has since appointed a new executive director and planned its first outdoor festival of the year, marking what it said was a new era in Bayside.

“My job is to try to get people to shop here,” Sclair said. “While the festival is pretty basic, it emphasizes what Bayside has to offer and it should be fun.”

For $125, vendors could purchase a booth at the festival and showcase whatever their businesses have to offer, including food and music. The BID held a special registration discount through June 1, which BID members could join for free while other Bayside residents and businesses paid $50 for a spot.

Former Executive Director Gregg Sullivan, who was fired by the board in December, said he was glad to see the BID working on public events for the first time since his departure. He spoke fondly of the new executive director and said he hoped to help him in bettering Bayside.

“Lyle Sclair comes to us with wonderful qualifications to assume the post of executive director and all the stakeholders have renewed reason for optimism,” Sullivan said.

He spoke of Bayside’s resurgence as a local hot spot for business activity, dating back to the his initial appointment as executive director in 2010 and said Sclair’s reign was the next step.

Sclair said he hopes the summer arts festival will mark a new beginning for the Bayside BID, celebrating local business and showing residents and property owners that the group was working for them once again.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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