Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 13 September 2013 00:00
Swaths of nearby and local residents flocked to the Annual Mineola Street Fair on Sunday, Sept. 8. With vendors lined up and down the streets featuring local businesses and restaurants, live performances and various entertainment for kids, the Mineola Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event didn’t disappoint Mary Eckles of Williston Park.
“All of the local fairs that occur this time of the year are fantastic,” she said. “It’s great to get out on a Sunday and enjoy the day.”
Inflatable castles were set up for kids just off Mineola Boulevard, as well as performance stages, local craft and business vendors. Chamber Vice President and owner of Piccola Bussola Tony Lubrano estimated the fair attracted 110 vendors.
“I think, just like [other events that we do]...I enjoy this,” said Lubrano. “To me, this makes Mineola feel like a real, small hometown. Talking to people here, a lot of them are born and bred here. It’s great.”
Lubrano and Willis Hobbies owner Steve Ford have coordinated the fair since it moved from Memorial Park to the downtown area in 2011. The fair, a staple since before the village’s incorporation, had previously operated out of the par for about 20 years. The Mineola Village Board approved the change in May 2011.
“We had great participation this year,” Ford said. “It’s a step up from previous fairs years ago. We’re always taking notes, looking to improve it the following year.”
The two main areas in the downtown area of the fair is Main Street from First Street to Front Street, Second Street from Mineola Boulevard between Main Street and Willis Avenue and a two block area of Mineola Boulevard from Harrison Avenue to the north side of Second Street across from the boulevard bridge over the railroad tracks. Mayor Scott Strauss commended the chamber for planning a great event.
“Many of the [chamber members] don’t live here, but they’re more than business owners,” Strauss said. “They have a huge stake in this village and they’re out here [supporting Mineola].”
Chamber President Bill Greene agreed with Strauss’ sentiments, commending local businesses that got involved. Greene owns Tsontos Furs on Jericho Turnpike.
“It’s a wonderful town to be a part of,” Greene said. “There’s wonderful businesses here as you can see. Today, they’re all being highlighted. It’s great to live here and I’m honored to have a business here too.”
Former Mineola Mayor and current State Senator Jack Martins agreed that the street fair was a step up from previous events held in Memorial Park. The biggest difference? It’s right in town.
“You’re right here where everyone is,” Martins stated. “It’s in the downtown, people open up their doors to the public. This is a street fair that took a long time to put together and this is the proper venue for it.”
Saturday, 25 October 2014 00:00
Way before Home Depot or Ace Hardware came into existence, there were little mom-and-pop shops like Munder’s True Value on Hillside Avenue in Williston Park. The hardware store, which opened its doors in 1948, is somewhat of a suburban dinosaur having outlasted several other hardware stores in the area.
“My father, Charles, opened this store in 1948 after returning home from World War II,” said Bill Munder, who took over the store operation seven years ago. “His parents wanted to know his plans after he returned home from the marines and he decided to open this store on Hillside Avenue.”
Friday, 24 October 2014 00:00
The debate over New York State Common Core standards continues, with students from the Mineola School District showing a mild resistance to the exams.
According to the New York State Allies for Public Education, Mineola had some of the lowest numbers, with eight students opting out of the English Language Arts test. However, not a single Mineola student missed the math test. In East Williston, the opt out rates were 75 students in ELA and 60 in math.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
The New York Cosmos hosted the Mineola Athletic Association’s Soccer Club recently for its penultimate fall 2014 home game. More than 140 members of the MAA soccer club and their families came out on a chilly October evening to show their love of the game. Twenty-two Mineola boys and girls had the honor of escorting the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury players onto the field in the traditional “Walk of Champions.”
The Mineola spirit must have inspired the home team, as spectators enjoyed the exciting 2-1 Cosmos victory, with the game-winning goal coming in stoppage time.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
As a current member of the Mineola High School Varsity Soccer team, senior, Catherine Cunningham has been dominating the scoring for the Mustangs. She has 12 goals and two assists in the last seven games.
In her last week of play alone, she amassed six goals in just three games. As a captain for the last two years, Cunningham has been an All-Conference and All-Class player, leading her team to two victories so far this season.