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Street Fair Is Overwhelming Success

Hicksville Chamber of Commerce, myriad sponsors contribute to annual event

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.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com