Vendor applications are open for 2024 Grand Baldwin Festival


The popular Grand Baldwin Festival is set to return this fall, and vendor applications are now being accepted for those interested in participating.

Hosted by the Community Coalition of Baldwin, an offshoot of the Baldwin Council Against Drug Abuse, the festival is scheduled for Oct. 5 at the parking lot behind the Baldwin Public Library fro 12 to 4:30 p.m. The event represents a celebration of the Baldwin community welcoming members into a marketplace atmosphere, showcasing Baldwin’s diverse businesses by featuring vendor booths, retail and culinary offerings and live entertainment.

The concept for the festival originated in 2011 when Claudia Rotondo, director of the council, a proactive agency dedicated to educating students about substance abuse, wanted to join a communitywide group. However, she found no existing group in Baldwin that aligned with her vision.

To address this gap, she extended invitations to churches, fraternal organizations, PTAs and even medical professionals, urging them to collaborate in forming a coalition. The aim was to amplify their impact in Baldwin and bolster residents’ sense of pride in their community.

The festival debuted in 2019, and its planning committee is seeking vendors interested in participating and sponsors enthusiastic about supporting the beloved community event. The deadline for vendors to sign up is Aug. 15.

While the festival remains rooted in the Baldwin community, Rotondo, who is also co-chair of the festival’s committee, highlighted its growing appeal beyond the town’s borders, with vendors participating from various locations.

“We’ve had people come from New Jersey,” she said, “from the Bronx to Suffolk County, word of mouth, it travels and people have heard that it’s been a great venue.”

David Viana, a 2011 Baldwin Herald Person of the Year who was instrumental in rejuvenating the Baldwin Civic Association a decade ago, has remained a driving force behind the festival’s organization as co-chair. 

“Each year, the festival transforms Downtown Baldwin for a day, bringing in live entertainment, food, artwork and dozens of pop-up shops,” he wrote to the Herald. “It’s a celebration of the community, highlighting the many wonderful businesses and organizations located in Baldwin and supporting Baldwin.”

In past years, vendors included Pops and Poosh, a Haitian restaurant; the Irish Pub; and Vienna Cookie, a bakery in Baldwin, to name a few. Space is available for roughly 180 vendors, on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The cost for vendors to register is $25 for non-profit organizations, $75 for Baldwin-based businesses and $95 for businesses outside Baldwin.

“The coalition was founded to bring the community together,” Rotondo said, “and my whole thing is to raise awareness about drug abuse. We thought that the festival would bring the community together and to have people in the community feel connected. When there’s a connection to the community and each other, there’s less of a risk of becoming drug-involved. 

“We wanted to highlight the wonderful things about Baldwin, everyone steps on Baldwin all the time and downgrades it,” she added. “We have a really multicultural, ethnically diverse community and we’d like to highlight that.” 

For more information on registration, visit