The festival takes the form of a New York City street market, modeled on the fabled Hester Street, the Jewish immigrant neighborhood circa 1900. The entire area is decorated as a turn-of-the-century street scene, replete with pushcarts and market stands, a strolling Klezmer musician, and even laundry hanging overhead. Each type of food is sold from a separate market stand, built in the style of the early 20th century, and dispensed by servers wearing costumes typical of that period.
Foods range from well-known favorites such as matzo ball soup, deli sandwiches and chopped liver to harder-to-find specialties such as knishes, potato latkes (pancakes), mushroom-barley soup and Middle Eastern street food, including falafel, Israeli salads and bourekas (cheese-filled pastries).
The ever-popular bakery stand will have rugelach (cinnamon-flavored pastries), mandelbrot (sweet almond bread, similar to biscotti), babka (cinnamon- or chocolate-filled yeast cake), challah (braided egg bread that traditional Jewish cooks serve at every Sabbath dinner), and hamantashen (triangular fruit-filled pastries, usually made for the Purim holiday).
In true New York style, authentic egg creams — which contain neither eggs nor cream — will be made to order at the beverage stand. All foods are being prepared on the premises by volunteers.
Admission tickets are $9 in advance or $10 at the door; advance purchase includes entry in an early-bird prize drawing. Paid admission includes three starter tickets for food. Additional food tickets may be purchased at the festival for $1 each. Children age 12 and under will be admitted free with an adult.
Tickets may be purchased from Cappy’s, 205 W. Clinton St.; the Jewish Center and Federation or Congregation Shomray Hadath, both at 1008 W. Water St.; Congregation B’nai Israel, 900 W. Water St.; or members of the planning committee.
For information about purchasing tickets by mail, call (607) 734-8122.