At the North End Neighborhood Association (NENA) meeting held Tuesday 6/30/2020, Board Members voted to cancel this year’s Hyde Park Street Fair due to increasing COVID-19 concerns. This is the first time in forty years that the Fair will not be held in Boise’s historic North End neighborhood.
Originally scheduled for September 18th-20th at Camel’s Back Park, cancellation was a difficult decision. “Ultimately, it’s the right thing to do. The Board felt like we had a responsibility to safeguard the health of our neighbors, loyal fairgoers, community, and vendor participants,” said NENA President Mark Baltes. Boise would need to be in Stage 4 of the pandemic response plan for the Fair to occur, and with the recent move back to Stage 3 it is unclear when that might happen.
The Fair accounts for approximately 95% of NENA’s annual income, allowing the neighborhood to take an active role in supporting local schools, residents, and community organizations with donations each year. Recent recipients of NENA funding include Washington, Lowell, Longfellow, North Junior and Boise High schools, Neighborhood Improvement Project grants, and via the NENA Aid Program, donations totaling more than $20,000 to local organizations supporting Boiseans impacted by COVID-19 including Jesse Tree, Interfaith Sanctuary, Faces of Hope, City of Good, Life’s Kitchen, and City Light.
Application fees will be returned to vendors who have applied to participate in the 2020 Fair, and notification of cancellation has been sent to vendors via event coordinators at Gruntwerks, Inc. NENA looks forward to gathering in Camel’s Back Park September 17th-19th, 2021 to resume the Fair tradition. In the meantime, NENA remains committed to supporting our community and is working on a pivot plan to include commemorative t-shirts and other memorabilia, an online vendor marketplace, and possibly a beer collaboration. Other partnerships and events will be announced in the coming weeks.