Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 28 September 2012 00:00
Willis Hobbies owner and past COC president and Fair Co-Chair Steve Ford detailed the upcoming fair exclusively to the Mineola American. He hopes this year Mother Nature doesn’t delay the fun for the village.
“Last year, having to use the rain date, we lost quite a bit,” Ford said. “We lost some of the rides last year because of that.”
Ford’s task was to reel in businesses to participate in the fair, showcasing the village’s business district. The main focus, Ford said, is to encourage people to, “shop Mineola.”
More than 80 vendors will be participating in the event this year, rather than an estimated 60 in 2011. The COC tapped Van Buren GMC and Cadillac to showcase new 2013 vehicles. Select vintage cars will also be on display.
“It’s a way of promoting the businesses in town and getting them involved with the community and the chamber,” COC President Bill Greene said. “This fair is going to expose the shops to everyone and showcase what’s available as well as getting businesses to see what a vibrant chamber that we are.”
Chamber members were still in talks with ride vendors last week, but Ford estimated that between 10 and 15 would be available, “for younger kids. We’re not sure where it will be located,” said Ford. The fairgrounds stretch from Main Street to First Street and Second Street on Mineola Boulevard to Willis Avenue and west to Harrison Avenue.
“Each year, we try to enhance the fair a bit,” Ford stated. “Like adding more rides, more entertainment. I think we really stepped up in the entertainment department.”
The fair will hold three stages. The main stage will be designated for the opening ceremonies and singing and performance groups and located at First Street and Mineola Boulevard. The second stage will be located on Main Street and Second Street and used for winners of the open “Talent Show” auditions held at Shakers Restaurant.
The third stage will be hold other various performers.
“The chamber is working incredibly hard to make [the fair] a great day as it did last year,” Mayor Scott Strauss said.
Two fairs have been held in the downtown area in previous years at Main and Second Street. The concept is not totally brand new, but it will be the second time it has expanded to Mineola Boulevard, the essential entranceway into the village. Previously, the fair had been run out of Memorial Park.
“One of the reasons that we left the park is that many businesses weren’t involved,” Ford said. “We want to promote businesses. The best way was to bring people to their front door. The businesses that go the extra mile to promote local shopping in Mineola are a testament to the dedication of the village and its residents.”
Entertainment coordinators managed to attain local, hometown talent for this year’s fair, including Mineola High School graduate Michelle Ferreira. The lifelong resident recently graduated from Pace University. She released her first album last year, according to her Facebook page. The entertainment list was finalized last week.
“We have an incredible array from internationally experienced performers to local residents,” entertainment coordinator Sheila Rettaliata said. “My job as a producer for the last two years is to try to cultivate excitement via the entertainment side of the fair.”
Select participating businesses will hold demos for their products, including but not limited to Revolution Athletic Club, Further Fitness, Island Pottery and Foxes, according to Fair Co-Chairman and Piccola Bussola owner Tony Lubrano, who will host a fashion show.
“We are thrilled that [the fair] is on the street as opposed to when we used to have it in the park,” Lubrano said. “The first time we decided to use the street fair, initially people had a wait-and-see attitude, but after last year, everyone wants to get involved. We think it can only be bigger and better this year.”
The schedule for the Mineola Street Fair is detailed below.
Stage 1: 1st Street and Mineola Boulevard
Town of North Hempstead Showmobile
11 a.m.-Counterclockwise*-Creative new sounds and classical instruments.
11:30 a.m.-Ms. Senior America Seasoned Steppers
12:30 p.m.-Anita and Olivia of Print Café
1 p.m.-Mineola Fair Celebration-Rev. Chet East of the First Presbyterian Chruch will sing the national anthem. Welcoming remarks of the Mineola Village Board and local elected officials. Norm Jardine, a Vietnam War veteran, will lead the St. Aidan’s choir in “God Bless America.”
1:30 p.m.-Dance Dynamics*
2 p.m.-Flo Michaels-Singer/Comedian
2:30 p.m.-Irish American Champion Step Dancers*
3 p.m.-Mark Brier-Family Comedians
4 p.m.-Carolyn Harding, Calvin Booker and Caleb Johnson-Jazz Ensemble.
5 p.m.-A Side of Darkness
Stage 2-2nd Street and Main Street
11 a.m.-Pictures of Home-Mixed Rock
Noon-Big Daddy-Blues band.
1:30 p.m.-Cascades and St. Aidan’s Choir*
2:15 p.m.-New York Jazz Academy with Carolyn Loenhart*
3 p.m.-Michelle Ferreira*
4 p.m.-Zymurgy-classic rock.
4: 30 p.m.-Congregational Church of Contemporary Gospel of South Hempstead.
5:15 p.m.-Ray Prada of Bagelman-Latin rock.*
Stage 3-1st and Main Street- 1 to 5:30 p.m.
Vicki Lee Iregbulem
Gabriella Von Elekes
Susan McGurn: Body in Balance
Beth Levine: Zumba
Jeff Pastoressa: Tai Chi
All is subject to change. All fair attendees can stop by Shakers Restaurant on Mineola Boulevard at 6 p.m. for an open cast party with entertainment.
* Local Mineola talent.