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Parish Festival A First, But Not Last

Cold and rain on the first two days of the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church’s inaugural Family Festival didn’t stop residents from pouring in from May 29-June 1. The carnival was the culmination of months of planning.

 

“This carnival is amazing,” said 9-year-old Herricks resident James Stoven. “I hope it happens again next year.”

 

Father Frank Grieco came up with the idea to hold the festival. His past assignments in East Northport and Deer Park have hosted similar fairs.

 

Grieco has been in New Hyde Park for 11 months. He broached the idea of a festival with parishioners and held festival committee meetings, which boasted 75 attendees or more.

 

“Everyone was in a good mood, there no problems,” said Grieco. “It couldn’t have been better.

 

Grieco revealed that as of press time, the fair had collected $45,000. He said next year’s event is already planned.

 

“We needed some revenue for the parish,” he said. “We wanted to give the parishioners a positive experience. What I found satisfying in New Hyde Park, it was definitely a community event. In Deer Park and East Northport, people from all over came. Half of them I didn’t even know. Here, it was a community event.”

 

Local entertainment highlighted the fair. The likes of former New Hyde Park Village Clerk Pat Farrell, Victor Cuneen and Tommy Deegan performed classic rock and Irish music.

 

“The success of the festival was a collective effort,” Grieco stated. “Everyone chipped in. That’s what makes me feel good as a pastor.”

 

Other acts included 15 Below, an alternative rock band, and EJ the DJ (Eammon Lennon), a New Hyde Park disc jockey. The parish hoped to strengthen the “family dynamic” in New Hyde Park by holding a festival geared toward children.

 

“We struggled with the weather on [Friday] with the rain and cold, which kind of slowed the momentum, but [Saturday] and [Sunday] were completely packed,” said Family Festival Committee Chairman Kevin Fitzpatrick. “Everyone had a great time. It was a real family-centered event.”

 

Fitzpatrick pointed to the cooperation between committee members, which streamlined the preliminary set-up towards the fair.

 

“I was initially concerned with the amount of time we had, only to realize that other committee heads were so competent and so good at what they did, it made my job really easy,” he said. “We had a tremendous amount of volunteers too.”

 

For Fitzpatrick, he’d like to see a few rides set up in the front parking lot of the church on Jericho Turnpike. This year, the spot was reserved for music and other entertainment.

 

“We can always improve and expand,” he said. “Our dream is to have the Ferris wheel in the front parking lot. The entertainment was a huge success and I think rides right next to it would be great.”

 

For more photos from the festival, go to facebook.com/ HolySpiritFamilyFestival


News

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say Sewanhaka High School will receive a camera on Covert Avenue, which spans the eastern stretch of the property. Tulip Avenue runs in front of the high school and was also considered. Cameras could begin operation in September.

The Village of New Hyde Park finished its Operation Main Street project just in time, because the town’s eligibility for federal funds is shrinking, officials announced last week.

“The qualifications revolve around money,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Like how much income is being earned by people in the area. I guess as seniors move on, you can’t buy an [expensive home] and it changed the demographic, shrinking our eligible area.”


Sports

New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud brightened the day for some patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center last week in New Hyde Park, posing for pictures and handing out gifts and autographs. The players hung out with the kids in the afternoon, playing video games and answering questions.

They also found the time to make the rounds, stopping by bedsides to spread some cheer. Mr. Met also joined the tour and was a big hit with the children, who peppered him with questions about everything from his four-fingered hand to the whereabouts of the missing Mrs. Met.

The Sewanhaka Indians football team has a season of change in store.

The Indians have moved up from Conference III to Conference II, due to an increase in enrollment, and are set to face teams that they have never seen before, according to head coach George Kasimatis.

“It is hard to gauge where we will be in this conference,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as where we fit in.”


Calendar

Library Board Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Herricks School Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



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