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.”