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Farmingdale Village Braces for U.S. Open Crowd

Welcomes Visitors With ‘Open Arms’

At a press conference once again urging U.S. Open spectators, volunteers and players to visit Farmingdale, village and county officials unveiled a trolley that will be providing transportation within the village June 20-21.

Farmingdale Village Mayor George “Butch” Starkie said the final plans for the U.S. Open week are the “culmination of two years of a lot of labor and work.”

“This has been a really exciting process and is an enjoyable time at the village.”

Starkie thanked United States Golf Association, Nassau County and Long Island Rail Road representatives for their cooperation.

“They are an incredible group of people to work with,” he added.

He also officially opened the village doors to U.S. Open visitors.

“We really wanted to make sure people knew Farmingdale was open,” he added. “We’ve dressed for the prom.”

Approximately 300 free parking passes for Howitt Middle School are being raffled off in a partnership with Long Island Radio Group’s, KJOY 98.3. Visit www.kjoy.com for information on how to win.

A trolley will be in service Saturday and Sunday, June 20-21, making stops at Howitt Middle School, along Main Street and at the Farmingdale train station. The free transportation is for U.S. Open ticket holders and will operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. A short bus ride from the train station will take spectators to Bethpage State Park.

Trustee Ralph Ekstrand said the USGA expects about 60,000 visitors a day to Bethpage State Park for the U.S. Open. Practice rounds for the event will begin on June 15.

“The potential for people coming down to Main Street – which is only one-and-a-half blocks or a trolley ride away from the train station – is massive,” Starkie said.

“Clearly our residents are embracing this upcoming week and will be well informed,” added Deputy Mayor Pat Christiansen.

Legislator Dave Mejias, a longtime Farmingdale resident himself, also offered kudos to USGA, LIRR and village officials.

“The eyes of the world are coming to Nassau County,” he said, of the U.S. Open. “As everyone descends on Farmingdale, we want people to know that we’re open for business. We’re going to welcome you with open arms.”

Mejias added that Farmingdale is a “safe and secure place with available mass transit.”

With sales tax in Nassau County showing a 10.7 percent decline over last year, the 2009 U.S. Open could not have come at a better time.

“We need to exploit every economic opportunity available,” Mejias added.

Elected officials are predicting millions to be pumped into the local economy from the event.

Angela Susan Anton, publisher of Anton Community Newspapers, which includes the Farmingdale Observer, added that a special U.S. Open edition of the Observer will be distributed at various venues during the event. Anton added that the special edition will include “a wealth of information,” including U.S. Open features, welcoming remarks from local officials and business leaders and area attractions for first-time visitors. It will also be available at Village Hall.

Beginning Monday, June 15, Farmingdale Village will host evening entertainment on the Village Green. The new Long Island Champions, the Farmingdale Golf Team, will be on hand Wednesday, June 17. Visit www.farmingdalevillage.com and click on the U.S. Open link for an updated schedule of events.