Written by Youseph Rasheed, email@example.com Saturday, 23 August 2014 00:00
The 7th annual Parish of the Holy Family Festival went off without a hitch and lit up the night sky on Fordham Avenue in Hicksville last week. Thousands of community members came and joined in the festivities.
This year’s theme was the 1964-1965 World’s Fair that took place in Queens. Volunteer coordinator and 28-year member of the congregation Mary White said “We are having this festival to raise money and to offset the expenditures of the school and the church. Last year we had a record breaking 10,000 people attend and while all the numbers are not in yet, we are doing very well this time around too. The turnout has been great because the weather has been so cooperative.”
There were rides, live music, face painting, a beer and wine garden, and even a mini casino where adult patrons could go to have a chance at winning it big. Gerry Gagliano of Hicksville tried his luck at the color roulette and said “My son is out riding all the rides and I’m in here trying to win some bucks. So far I won three dollars but I lost 11.” When asked if he was having a good time despite losing money Gagliano said with a smile on his face, “Oh yeah, you better believe it.”
Volunteer Jennifer Sheehan of Hicksville brought along her two daughters and their friend and said “My kids are having a great time. They are about to get on The Happy Swing Ride. The festival is a really positive thing for the community and I volunteer here every year.”
Hicksville's Theodore Davidson won a giant stuffed bear for his girlfriend Carla Villon. Villon said “I feel fantastic here! This carnival is a lot of fun." Davidson added, “It’s great for the kids.”
One of the best selling foods at the festival was the Belgian waffles which were fittingly introduced to Americans at the 1964-1965 World’s Fair. Delfina Wood of Levittown was serving them up to hungry festival goers and said “The smell of these waffles is delicious. They have been selling like hotcakes. I am going to eat some with my friends later tonight.”
Bartender Pete Ciorciari was amazed at the success of the festival and said “We set a record on Friday night for gross receipts at the bar and that speaks for itself.”
Lani Volino of Levittown came to the festival with her large group of friends. She said “This is great! I have Holy Family Pride. I like seeing family and friends here and making new friends here as well.” She added “I can’t wait to go on the Ferris wheel!”
The ultimate prize was The Holy Family Festival Raffle which cost $50 to enter. Annmarie Hawkins of Hicksville won $2,500, Maureen and Brian Sacco of Levittown won $3,000, John and Mary Scafura of Hicksville won $5,000 and the grand prize went to Nick Brigandi of Hicksville who won $10,000. All proceeds received by the church festival went to help the well being of the church.