Held on the last Saturday in July for the past 123 years, the Ladies’ Village Improvement Society Fair is one of the oldest and most anticipated summer events in the Hamptons. But this year, it has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For children, highlights have included pony rides, a petting zoo, bouncy castles, and a non-stop carousel.
For adults, it was a booth overflowing with flowers and plants so abundant the Garden of Eden might look barren in comparison.
There was a vintage clothing booth that’s a Hamptons best-kept secret of fashionistas and collectors from far and wide. There was a silent auction featuring hundreds of luxury items.
For the past five years, sisters Bonnie Pizzorno and Pam Cataletto, known as the “fair pair,” have been the committee chairwomen for the fair, in existence since 1896. They have captained an army of hundreds of member volunteers who make the grandiose event happen.
“This year’s fair was to be the official kickoff of the LVIS 125th anniversary celebration,” Pizzorno said. “We hoped we wouldn’t have to cancel the event that, over the last decade, has been a major factor in allowing the organization to raise $5 million spent on our mission of maintaining the trees, the village greens, the nature trail, and to fund scholarships for many local students, as well as women going back to school to earn a college degree.”
She added, though, there was no denying the reason for cancelation, and she’s already looking to the 125th fair.
“After weeks of careful consideration, the deciding moment came when I asked myself if I could really envision the women volunteering at the entry gates, taking the temperature of each visitor before they were allowed into the fair,” Pizzorno said. “We can only hope those who receive our community report, which is our annual fundraising letter, will remember us with their donations this year. We’ll need that to continue our work.”