Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

June 02, 2021

Dan Keefe | Brian Nearing
(518) 486-1868 |

Smorgasburg to Return to Marsha P. Johnson State Park on June 26

Food Fair seeking diverse food vendors from Williamsburg-Greenpoint Community

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and Smorgasburg are pleased to announce the return of the popular food fair at Marsha P. Johnson State Park on June 26, just a month after what would have been its 10th anniversary on the Williamsburg waterfront. Under a one-year pilot agreement, Smorgasburg's return will include issuing an open call for food vendors based in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint community to participate in this year's market and aggressively recruiting a diverse workforce, including transgender women of color and LGBTQ employees.

"Smorgasburg has always been a celebration of culinary diversity, and we see great potential for the food fair to enhance our work to make Marsha P. Johnson State Park a beacon of cultural diversity," said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. "New York's State Parks belong to all New Yorkers and should reflect the diversity of our culture — and ensure that everyone feels welcome."

"The only silver lining to losing so many businesses during COVID is the opportunity to deepen our commitment to equity among both our family of vendors and our own team," said Smorgasburg Co-Founder Eric Demby. "More than 1,000 small businesses have started at Smorgasburg in its first decade, with the majority of vendor-owners being women and/or members of a minority group. The market allows access to a huge audience for entrepreneurs who lack access to capital to invest, and is a proven launchpad for local and diverse small businesses. We can't wait to introduce a wave of new faces to our fans."

In response to community input, the one-year agreement calls on Smorgasburg to:

  • Reduce Season and Capacity. Operating under New York Forward guidance the 2021 food fair season will operate each Saturday from June 26 through October 30. Vendor capacity for each food fair will also be reduced from 100 participants to a maximum of 70.
  • Expand cleanup efforts. Smorgasburg will dedicate full-time staff to clean the entirety of Marsha P. Johnson State Park and a four-block radius around the park including multiple efforts along Kent Avenue, North 7th, 8th and 9th Streets on event days.
  • Cast open call for food vendors based in Williamsburg Greenpoint community. Aggressively recruit a diverse workforce, including transgender women of color and LGBTQ employees to participate in this season's market.
  • Conduct fundraising and awareness drive to address food insecurity. The drive emphasizes Smorgasburg's ongoing partnership with the non-profit organization Rethink Food. Six Smorgasburg vendors have been paid during COVID to prepare 10,000 (and counting) healthy, hot, culturally relevant meals since May that are directly distributed to underserved communities in Brooklyn and Queens. In April and May 2020, Smorgasburg vendors prepared 50,000 meals for essential workers and first responders across New York City during this critical period.
  • Reinvest license fee into the park. Smorgasburg's previous fees and park improvements have gone towards the park house now under construction, installation of electric service to the park event space and installation of WiFi on the south side of the park.

The market will run Saturdays, June 26 to October 30 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For information on becoming a vendor, visit To inquire about employment—with Smorgasburg or one of our vendors—email

The agreement with Smorgasburg is only for the 2021 season. Following the season, State Parks will review the experience and engage with park stakeholders about the long-term future of a food fair at Marsha P. Johnson State Park.

The June 26 opening will coincide with the completion of several parkwide improvements, including repair and reduction of the event pads and other hardscapes that yielded nearly .85-acre of additional greenspace. A full opening of the space will be in August 2021.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which were visited by a record 78 million in 2020. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram , Twitter or on the State Parks blog.