Local handicrafts and souvenirs for sale at the Nahalat Binyamin artist fair in Tel Aviv.
Local handicrafts and souvenirs for sale at the Nahalat Binyamin artist fair in Tel Aviv. Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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Ofer Vaknin
Stalls, cloth and cafes sharing the sidewalk on Tel Aviv’s Nahalat Binyamin pedestrian mall. Photo by Ofer Vaknin
Moti Kimche
Shoppers looking for something special at the Nahalat Binyamin street fair. Photo by Moti Kimche

This November has been the hottest, and among the driest, in recorded Israeli history. Yet as this week approaches a close, rain is finally supposed to fall.
What will that blessed precipitation do to the street fairs of Tel Aviv and the open-air markets in pretty much every city?

The answer is that the open-air food markets are always open for business during the weekdays, in rain or shine. Water may be cascading down the center street of the shuk and you may notice plastic sheeting over the more sensitive foods, such as cookies and dried spices, but its' business as usual. You just want to watch out for somebody sticking his umbrella in your eye in the crowded market streets.

As for the street fairs, that's another matter entirely. You want to check the weather report before deciding to spend your morning browsing in one of these colorful venues.

Thing is, unlike the veg market vendors, the artists selling in these once- or twice-weekly fairs are moonlighting. Most also sell in other venues, and they aren't entirely dependent on the street fair taking place.

If it's just lightly drizzling, the street fairs will most likely take place as usual, but the artists may not be out in full force. Given anticipation of thin crowds, some vendors may not show up at all. And if the weather report is for actual rain, not the possibility of an odd shower – the street fair won't be held at all that day.

Extremely windy conditions are also a reason to call off the fair on a given day.

The usual days for street fairs, such as the Nahalat Binyamin arts & crafts one, are Tuesday and Friday. If in doubt as to whether the weather will change your plans, your best call is to phone city hall and ask.