Written by Brendan Reardon Friday, 27 July 2012 00:00
Thanks to the generosity of its sponsors, chamber members, and a little help from Mother Nature, the tenth annual Hicksville Chamber of Commerce Street Fair on Sunday, July 22 was an overwhelming success. More people than ever before thronged to Jerusalem Avenue to enjoy the festival and its attractions, where free admission was granted all day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Lionel J. Chitty, president of the Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, was enthused about the triumph of this year’s fair. He was joined in the chamber’s tent by Chairman Sam Maruca, Community Liaison Philbert Robertson, Office Manager Janet Muller and her daughter, Laurie.
“This is the best one yet,” said Chitty, adding, “We wanted to do something to bring the community together and we’re just happy to have everyone.”
Chitty attributes much of this year’s astounding success to the turnout of chamber members, which is the highest it’s ever been at 48, and the help of the generous sponsors—Verizon, TD Bank, American Dental and Point Church.
Diverse vendors lined the teeming streets in tents, offering up a bewildering array of merchandise and services. There were nostalgic movie posters and handcrafted Irish slate clocks, imitation sunglasses and tie-dyed T-shirts. If one wished to have his or her face painted, there was no shortage of tents for that. Perhaps if one wanted to get a quick eyebrow waxing, well, there was a tent for that, too. One of the more standout vendors wasn’t selling, but giving away tickets to Jersey Boys on Broadway. A Dave & Busters tent hosted games and prize giveaways all day.
A colossal King Kong-inspired inflatable with a slide emptying into a dinosaur’s agape mouth was one of the more popular attractions for children, who were allowed to use all of the attractions for free, thanks to 888 Let’s Jump and the sponsors. Other children’s attractions included a bouncy castle, inflatable bull ride, petting zoo and the ever-endearing Bubbles the Clown. The Hicksville Chamber of Commerce distributed free T-shirts to children 10 and under.
While most people bustled about the sun-drenched streets, some took shelter in the shade under the railroad bridge to enjoy a tasty treat. Gyros, funnel cakes, and sausages were among the delicious snacks being offered throughout the day. Shaved ices and refreshing lemonade were a sure way to keep cool.
The Farmer’s Market was open for business, and will be every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Nov. 18 offering an assortment of fresh vegetables and more.
The main stage hosted live music from The Confessions and Members of the Press (MOTP). Both bands attracted impressive crowds with their respective renditions of popular songs.
In between musical acts, Hicksville’s own Theresa Caputo of TLC’s Long Island Medium took the stage for a meet and greet. She was undoubtedly the biggest attraction of the day, causing a frenzy of fans and a line spanning down the street and around the corner.
Nassau County Police Department volunteers like officer Edwin Rosado were ensured that everything from crowd control to traffic regulation in the area was copacetic. A tent for Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano was available all day for anyone who may have wanted to voice any concerns or just stop by and say “hello.”
And, of course, the Hicksville Illustrated News was in on the action with a table set up where free newspapers were available.
Next year’s fair is already being planned and is sure to be another huge hit. If you would like to be included in next year’s sponsorships, please contact the chamber at 931-7170 or check the website at hicksvillechamber.org.