Written by Dagmar Fors Karppi Friday, 15 April 2011 00:00
A new exciting event is in the works to bring visitors to Oyster Bay. A new Classics in Oyster Bay Day, Sunday, May 15 will take place the day after the annual Health Fair, Saturday, May 14.
Gerry Lalonde of the Sagamore Yacht Club made the announcement at the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Chamber of Commerce general meeting held on March 23 at Christ Church. He and Michael Gehrling are chairing the event. Mr. Lalonde said he went to the chamber for some assistance as his committee is creating a unique event for Oyster Bay.
Classics Day in Oyster Bay combines classic boats; classic trains; classic cars; and even hopefully classic cycles, - those courtesy of Billy Joel. It all will happen on Sunday, May 15 from noon to 4 p.m. “I was advised I was in over my head and wondering how to make it work, when my friends at Jack Halyard’s said they were willing to support us,” said Gerry.
“It will be a nice day for people to walk around the town to relax; the kids can climb onboard a train; they can come to the water, see the boats and relax and have a drink. There will be no pressure, no money, and a great day to enjoy Oyster Bay,” said Gerry.
The men are working with other Oyster Bay not-for-profit groups: with Dawn Riley of the Oak Cliff Center for the classic boats; with Dave Waldo of the WaterFront Center for the oyster sloop Christeen; with Ben Jankowski and John Specce at the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum for trains. “We are hoping that several of the restaurants will offer classic specials that day – that means special offers,” he said.
He added, “We told Michele Browner (chamber president) and got the approval of the chamber board.” They will create a map with points of interest throughout the hamlet for the event which will be held the day after the Health Fair, Saturday, May 14. “I hope the Classics Day in Oyster Bay becomes an annual event,” said Mr. Lalonde.
Ms. Browner said, “We like to create events that attract visitors and having back to back events can help us with publicity. We are aiding him in event planning and also publicity and telling member businesses about it in case they want to sponsor the event or promote something that day. We are a good resource for him.”
The Health Fair will be on May 14. OBEN Chamber of Commerce President Michele Browner, RN, BSN, was originally drawn to become a member through chairing the fair which is done in conjuction with NYS Senator Carl Marcellino. The street fair to again be held on Audrey Avenue will include the Army’s rock wall for climbing; the Islander’s jumpy attraction; a check of your financial health by Alex Gallego as well as a whole list of health related vendors setup in booths along the avenue. The event is done in conjunction with NYS Senator Carl Marcellino and his office sends out 75,000 mailing to his constituents.
The Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce experienced delays in holding their general meeting because of all the snow the early part of this year. The result was that there was a great deal to talk about as they got together to hear guest speaker Ernie Canadeo give marketing advice at their March 24 meeting held in the Christ Church Parish Hall. (Please see separate story.)
President Michele Browner announced, “This year the Spend a Day in Oyster Bay project has turned a corner, as the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum board acted as the point person for the concept. Last year we were a little too late to join the LIRR program but this year they are linked up to it in time. People will get off the LIRR and be met by a trolley or bus that will bring them to the Visitor’s Center at 102 Audrey Avenue.”
Ms. Browner said the visitors will receive a full packet of information on all the cultural sites in town such as Planting Fields; Sagamore Hill; Raynham Hall Museum; the Oyster Bay Historical Society, etc. Included will be the chamber’s coupon book with information on great restaurants to visit.
Spend a Day in Oyster Bay kicks off on Memorial Day and lasts through Labor Day and operates on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. “We hope to see Oyster Bay busy and bustling,” said Ms. Browner.
She reported that the March 3 Real Estate open house was a success and there are three potential people interested in coming to Oyster Bay. She welcomed Joe’s Burger Shack, on Pine Hollow Road, at the former Phil’s Phish location. The Red Tomato is coming to East Norwich with its artisanal piazza in mid-April, she said. And she gave a welcome to Sweet Tomato, the new restaurant that will open in the former tailor shop on Audrey Avenue, next to the Post Office and Ben’s Garden. The Baykery will soon re-open with a new name, she said.
Judy Wasilchuk alerted members to a concert to support the PAC at OBHS for a Doo-wop music on Saturday, April 9, a fundraiser to get air conditioning for the Performing Arts Center to make it possible to use it all summer long. She also invited people to attend the Amanda Styles Cirelli Foundation for Pediatric Cancer Research (ASCF) 2011 Gala at the Metropolitan in Glen Cove, Saturday, March 26. Both events were very well attended and were a great success.
They are also asking people to sponsor a planter near them for a $100 donation. The chamber will provide maintenance and watering with a little TLC from you.
On April 20, Life Quest at 120 South Street, (chiropractic office, massage and acupuncture) is hosting the chamber’s Business After Hours event from 5 to 7 p.m.
Les Schachter reminded members that they have the possibility to have a page on the chamber’s VisitOysterBay.com site. He will provide a password for members to go in and change their ad copy.
Alex Gallego, membership chair, reported they have about 200 members. New members sign up for $99; it is $125 for renewal. The chamber holds a breakfast meeting the third Wednesday of the month at Bagel Boss in East Norwich – that means on April 21. There is a show and tell to talk about what you do and new members are welcome.
John McEvoy, in charge of the chamber’s student/business partnership program is matching kids with local non-profit businesses. The OBEN guidance counselors are organizing the students and the chamber will match them with members.
Eventually they hope for new lamps for South Street too. Operation Clean Sweep is coming up soon on May 7. They need a lot of volunteers and will send letters to all the young people who participate, thanking them for their community service.
More future plans include the town having signed a resolution for spending $25,000 toward West Main Street getting new street lamps. There is a plan for the Townsend Square walkway to be landscaped, designed by Lou Baldino; with Chuck Panetta and Rob Brusca on the committee.
Ms. Simons said, “Different groups are coming together because things need to be done now and the town appreciates it if we all come together to get the momentum going.”
You can reach the chamber at 922-6464.