Written by Rich Forestano Wednesday, 25 September 2013 00:00
Torrential downpours at the kickoff of the 18th Annual New Hyde Park Street Fair nearly crippled the village mainstay. However, sunny skies prevailed at around 12:30 p.m., encouraging fair-goers to emerge from awnings and storefronts on Jericho Turnpike to continue the yearly Saturday tradition.
While the weather initially dampened the footprint of the fair, which stretched west from New Hyde Park Road to Lakeville Road, it didn’t stop attendees from perusing vendors and local shops.
“This fair is great every year,” Janice Wheaton of New Hyde Park said, standing outside SweeTart, a local bakery. “The rain didn’t help and many people ran for cover, but once it cleared up everyone came back.”
Mayor Robert Lofaro gave the go-ahead at 3 p.m. to extend the fair for an additional hour after its planned 4 p.m. end time since Mother Nature provided a short delay.
“We struggled through the rain and then gusting winds, but we still got it through,” he said. “It seems that after the rain left, the crowd seems to be as large as years past.”
This fair was extended farther west in 2013 to accommodate center-medians that were built during the village’s portion of the state-run $21.1 million Jericho Turnpike repaving project. Another project that sparked fair plan changes was
Operation Main Street, a construction project that will revamp the main corridor of the village.
“The fair has grown quite a bit,” Deputy Mayor Lawrence Montreuil said. “This year’s a little different because of the center medians. We had to space out the booths, so what’s nice about that is you have more booths and attractions down the whole length of the fair, when in the past it was more condensed.”
The expanded fair showcased a petting zoo from Green Meadow Farms in Floral Park. From alpacha’s to giant tortoise’s, the zoo was a hit for residents.
“My favorite animal was the alpacha,” said John Goodin of Garden City Park. “It’s a real cool animal.”
Local charities and groups on hand included the New Hyde Park Museum, New Hyde Park Memorial High School Dads Club, Model UN, Manor Oaks School, Hillside Grade School, New Hyde Park Road School, Knights of Columbus, New Hyde
Park Gladiators Club, G&E Linder VFW, New Hyde Park Fire Department’s ladies auxiliary, village beautification committee, among others.“It turned out to be a beautiful day,” trustee Rich Coppola said. “It’s always good to see the people, the residents on the streets. It’s great for the village.”