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Thrills And Chills At Levittown Fair

In addition to honoring those who have bravely fought to defend our country overseas, Memorial Day informally marks the start of summer. Each year, to embrace the sunshine and warm weather, the Levittown Chamber of Commerce invites the community to come to its annual Memorial Day Fair behind the Tri-County Flea Market. “It’s our single fundraiser of the year,” said Steven Philmus, president of the Levittown Chamber of Commerce, “and it has always been a successful event for more than 20 years.”

From May 22-May 26, crowds enjoyed a slew of rides, including a ferris wheel, flying swings, and carnival games where they could win one of many prizes.

“It’s a fun day,” stated Michael Lavine, who was enjoying the festivities with his wife, Sabrina.

But what really wowed the crowd was the circus, which featured a mother-son motorcycle team bracing danger in a steel ball.

“The motorcycle acts take such skill and are so cool,” said one resident.

However, not all were so enthusiastic about “Close Encounters of the Exotic Kind,” a performance featuring lions and tigers.

“It is incredibly disappointing that the Levittown Chamber of Commerce would host such a cruel and antiquated act,” said John DiLeonardo, president of the animal advocacy organization Long Island Orchestrating for Nature (LION), which held a demonstration against the mistreatment of the animals. “Not only does Close Encounters have an abysmal animal welfare record, but inviting this out-of-state show strays from the mission of any local Chamber of Commerce. We will be contacting the Chamber and requesting that they never host an exotic animal act again.”

According to the handlers, Vincent and Georgina Von Duke, they do not declaw their big cats or remove their canines, unlike most other exotic animal acts.

“Whenever animals of any species are being exploited under the disguise of entertainment, they fall in the hands of our elected officials as to whether this should be tolerated or even welcomed by society,” President of Hope for Hempstead Shelter United Diane Madden said during the demonstration. “The message here is that our town and county officials must accept the responsibility they have historically disowned, which is to protect these voiceless beings.”

Philmus explained that the Levittown chamber certainly plans to reevaluate having exotic animals at the event based on the comments that were made.

“We don’t want anyone to be upset and don’t want to alienate a group of people,” Philmus said. “That’s not the purpose of the event. It allows us to get together and have a fun weekend for people.”

News

Nassau County drivers are up in arms due to the recent implementation of school zone speed cameras, which have issued numerous violations since they were installed just weeks ago. The source of residents beef with the county’s speed cameras stems from the cameras issuing speed violations even when school wasn’t in session.

 

Director of Nassau County Traffic Safety Chris Mistron said that while some residents were taken by surprise, summer school hours are still considered a violation period. 

One local mom was concerned about her shy daughter’s first acting class at the newly opened Neighborhood Entertainment Arts and Theatre (NEAT) at 166 Center Lane in Levittown; but after her daughter’s lesson with Theatre Director Watson Miller, she was surprised to hear her daughter broke out of her shell, singing not one, but two songs for the class. 

 

“My husband has a very special gift with kids,” Koula Miller said. “He brings out the best in them.” 


Sports

Golfer Annie Park, 19, of Levittown came close at the U.S. Women’s Amateur tourney, but missed the cut, finishing at 149, 9 strokes over par and just one stroke away from the match-play cut-off. 

 

“I couldn’t make any putts, so then I had more pressure into my shots to get it closer,” Park said, “but obviously that’s not going to work.”

It might not be what you think of as a traditional sport, but at Eisenhower Park people are doing flips in the air and dangling from harnesses, training at I.FLY, a recreational flying trapeze and circus arts program.

 

Anna Marie Cagnazzi is a fairly new convert. “I love the freedom that I feel and the sense of accomplishment that I get,” Cagnazzi said. “Everyone always cheers, and I feel so good about myself. You don’t get to feel that in your everyday life.”

 

Over a year ago the 30-year-old Bethpage resident had no idea that a regular person could trapeze recreationally. Then a co-worker suggested they try a I.FLY class together. 


Calendar

BOE Meeting - August 13

Job Fair - August 13

Liverpool Shuffle - August 14 


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