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Mineola Street Fair Doesn’t Disappoint

Residents from near and far converge on local businesses for music, food and commerce

Thousands of residents filled Second Street, Main Street and two blocks of Mineola Boulevard for the 4th Annual Mineola Street Fair on Sunday, Sept. 30.  With vendors lined up and down the streets featuring local businesses and restaurants, live performances and various entertainment for kids, Mineola Chamber of Commerce President Bill Greene said, “this was the best fair yet…and we’re expecting next year to be even better.”

While beginning as a bright sunny day, the fair saw overcast skies and light rain showers halfway through, delaying live performances and sending much of the crowd home for the day.  However, the sun slowly made its way back, and the fair went right back on track.

Opening the ceremony with the singing of the national anthem by Rev. Chet East of the First Presbyterian Chruch, Greene was joined by Village of Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss, Trustee Paul Pereria, Trustee Paul Cusato, Trustee Lawrence Werther, and former Mineola Chamber of Commerce Presidents Ray Sikorski and Steve Ford, who is the co-chair of the fair, and owner of Willis Hobbies.

“There is a tremendous amount of work put into this fair…tomorrow, work will start on getting the fair ready for next year,” Mayor Strauss said.  “It’s not only a beautiful day for Mineola, but its also a beautiful day in Mineola.”

“The amount of vendors we have this year, and the turn out we’ve seen thus far has completely exceeded our expectations,” Steve Ford said following the opening ceremony.

Ray Sikorski recounted the history of the fair, with 2012 being the third year it hasn’t taken place in Memorial Park. “It was a major undertaking to move from that location, but we are thrilled by how many people came today,” Sikorski said.

Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello and New York State Senator Jack Martins were also in attendance.  “It’s a great day to come out and support local business, I participate every year,” said Nicolello.  “Local business really benefits from fairs like this, I hope they continue to grow,” said Senator Martins.

Live performances from local bands ranged from Pictures of Home, a hard rock band based out of NYC, The Cascades, a 50s and 60s cover band, The New York Jazz Academy with singer Carolyn Loenhart and Michelle Ferreira, a Mineola resident who performed songs off her album Stories Left Unsaid, which is available for purchase on iTunes.

Inflatable castles were set up for kids to have the time of their lives jumping up and down in, as well as petting zoos featuring various farm animals, and home pets such as bunnies and birds. Local restaurants such as Michelangelo’s Pizzeria, Piccola Bussola, P.S. Burgers, Eleanor Rigby’s and Second Street Gourmet Deli and Catering all had tables set up outside for residents to pass through and taste their food.

Dance routines and performances were held by Dance Dynamics, Irish American Championship Step Dancers, Zumba and dancers from the Mineola Portuguese Center.  Comedic performances were also held by Flo Michaels and Mark Brier, as well as an instrumental musical performance by Counterclockwise Ensemble.

One of the oldest businesses in Mineola, Long Island Women’s Health Care Group, PC, had a table set up where Dr. Gary M. Levine and Dr. Lydia Valderrama informed passing by residents about their services in obstetrics and gynecology.

“We’ve been here (Mineola Blvd) for 35 years, and the original practice started in Mineola back in 1958,” said Dr. Levine.  “We expect a couple of hundred people to come by and see what we do, the fair is a wonderful opportunity to show everyone in the community what is available to them.”  

Among the many families and residents in attendance were Simon and Marilyn Lemli, who have been married for over 60 years.  Dancing to various performances throughout the fair, the Lemli’s expressed their appreciation for the fair, as Mineola residents and subscribers to the Mineola American.  “We’ve been reading the American for years” said Lemli.  “The fair is a wonderful thing for Mineola to have.”