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Molto Bene! Large Crowd Enjoys Festival

Not even a mid-afternoon sun shower could dampen the spirits of so many who turned out to enjoy the annual Sons of Italy Italian feast held on Sunday, Sep. 30. Except for that brief shower, the weather was perfect as a large and enthusiastic crowd came to  Broadway in North Massapequa to enjoy the event. The smell of Italian sausage, zeppoles, cotton candy, hot dogs and pizza permeated the air as participants enjoyed all the activities.

“It was a great day for the Massapequa community,” said Patricia Orzano who is the president of the Massapequa Chamber of Commerce and was also the grand marshal of the event. “It was a tremendous day of community pride. It’s just a fabulous festival equivalent to the best on the island. It’s a big day for the community. It’s a fun day for everybody. I was honored to be their grand marshal representing the business community.”

Bands played a variety of music that appealed to all generations. Vendors offered a multitude of items for purchase including jewelry, T-shirts, toys, and even hand-rolled cigars. Children delighted in all of the rides and games to play. The faces of young children lit up with excitement as they saw the ducks, goats and even a donkey that were in the petting zoo. The youngest children even got to take a ride on a pony.

“This is an amazing way to celebrate the Massapequa communities, our Italian heritage and to bolster our local economy, all while having a lot of fun,” commented New York State Assemblyman Joseph Saladino.

As John Roper and the Bob Knight Four belted out their rendition of “Ride Sally Ride,” the audience talked, shopped, enjoyed the fare and spent the early autumn Sunday in a carnival atmosphere.

“I come every year and I enjoy it,” said New York State Senator Charles Schumer. The senator greeted residents, shook hands and posed for pictures. He was one of the many elected officials on-hand greeting the crowd.

Keith Wilson, president of  Columbus Lodge 2143 of the Order of the Sons of Italy, said that the event typically is very well-attended. Wilson said this year, that trend was continued.

“We’re just pleased everyone from Massapequa and surrounding areas came out,” he said.

While the event was a lot of fun, it also helped to bolster the local economy. In addition, there were many chances to contribute to worthy causes through raffles, donations, or even by adopting a pet. A greyhound rescue organization brought some of their greyhounds and the gentle canines were quite an attraction.

Another popular booth was provided by the Plainedge High School cheerleaders. Set up was a typical carnival activity in which a cheerleader sat perched above a pool of water, only to be dropped into the water when an accurately thrown ball would hit its target. Many took the opportunity to “dunk a cheerleader,” with the proceeds from the activity being used to pay for the expense of the team’s participation in the high school nationals competition.

A little bit of water didn’t dampen each team member’s spirit as smiles beamed from the cheerleaders even when they got “dunked,” just as some rain from the clouds couldn’t dampen the spirit of all those who came out to enjoy what has become a popular Massapequa tradition.