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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

The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District is planning improvements to a district that has already seen much success in recent years. The school year has only just begun and the Board of Ed is already setting its sights on the future. 

 

At the Sept. 8 board of education meeting, Superintendent Robert Katulak’s monthly report outlined the major goals set for the district last month. While approved in August, the three goals were made available to the public this month and each target different areas for improvement throughout the district. 

 

The first goal deals with English Language Learners (ELL) within the student population. ELL students are those that speak a language other than English at home and score below proficient on assessments. 

Senator Jack Martins discussed education, business and drug use among other topics in a an exclusive interview with this newspaper and FiOS 1 News. He’s currently seeking re-election in November, being challenged by Democrat Adam Haber. Pointing to what he called “key legislation,” particularly the tax cap legislation passed in 2011 and prescription drug bill he helped shepherd to enactment, Martins feels New York State is on track to continue fiscal responsibility.

 

“In these last four years, we’ve had four balanced budgets, we’ve cut taxes working together, we have paid off debt, streamlined government, kept spending below 2 percent each one of those years,” Martins said.


Sports

Sewanhaka boys soccer coach Peter Burgess wasn’t sure how long his team’s playoff drought was when it was broken last season. 

 

“Somebody said it was 13 years,” said Burgess, whose entering his fourth year coaching varsity. “But I think it was five or six, I don’t know maybe longer.”

 

But one thing’s for certain, he wants to keep last year’s momentum going. 

 

The Indians, who started their season with a 3-0 loss at Hewlett, will aim for their second straight trip to the playoffs this year. 

The Sewanhaka Indians made their Nassau Conference II debut with a bang.  The Indians opened their season at home against the Calhoun Colts, unsure what to expect, as all they had ever seen of the Colts was one tape of a scrimmage. 

 

“It was nerve raking leading up to the game,” said Head Coach George Kasimatis. “We weren’t sure what to expect on offense or defense, you have to guess early on. “

 

But it didn’t take the Indians long to introduce themselves to the conference, as junior, Quarterback, Elijah Tracey broke a 75-yard run taking it the distance to put the Indians up early, which ended in a 27-7 rout of the Colts. 


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

Herricks Meeting - September 18

Bike Safety Day - September 21


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