Belly dancing, cranberry treats, pony rides

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Mimi Soltana’s tribal belly-dance troupe returns to the Cranberry Street Fair on Sunday, Oct. 5. Photo by Mary Frost.

The annual Cranberry Street Fair takes place on Sunday, October 5 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

Neighbors have converged for 36 years in the early fall to hold what has been called “the sweetest little street fair” in Brooklyn.

Organized originally by artists John and Richanda Rhoden, the fair is still overseen by Ms. Rhoden, now well up into her 90s.

“Giving this kind of thing to the community is priceless. To see people working together – there’s a joyfulness about it,” she told this paper last year.

For youngsters, there will be pony rides (from 11 a.m. – noon), games and contests as well as face painting and pumpkin coloring. The fire engine from the 205th will be parked on Willow Street for children to climb and to greet the fire-fighters (unless the 205th is busy).

Once again the fair features Erik Loffswald’s live jazz and Mimi Soltana’s beautiful tribal belly-dance troupe. New this year is a performance and sing along with Jerri Bokeno of the 60s girl group Shangrilas.

The ever-popular Pet Parade at 2:15 p.m. concludes with all participants winning a first prize from Rocco & Jezebel for Pets.

Other activities include fortune tellers, Victorian-style photographs, the ever-popular Cranberry Bake-off, Jemilla’s Yoga class and more.

Food and drink (coffee and tea courtesy of Jim Monte’s at Cranberry’s) will be on sale along with books, brilliant autumnal plants, fleas and used treasures.  Museums, restaurants and local shops contribute to the raffle. Proceeds go towards neighborhood beautification.

“Part of the charm is the fair’s small size, Ms. Rhoden said. “It’s so human. We don’t want it to get bigger. We don’t want people to come in and sell their products; we manufacture everything ourselves — with the exception of the belly dancers, but a lot of them come from Atlantic Avenue,” she added.

Want to help? The Cranberry Street Association welcomes new energy, plus donations of books and any treasures.  Please bring donations with you on October 5th (the earlier the better). Volunteers to help set up are also requested, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

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