Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 21 October 2011 00:00
Edward Tullio Smith, a resident of Carle Place for 22 years and partner at Tullio’s Pottery at 554 Westbury Ave., hopes this holiday season in the “Hamlet” is unlike any other.
Smith is hoping that “Winter Festival in Carle Place” will create a mini-wonderland of decorations and participation among residents and business owners along the town’s main thoroughfare.
“The goal, really, is to get more people in the town to walk the town, to see the stores, to have a fun time during the holiday season. The idea is to make the town look like Fortunoff’s used to,” said Smith, who noted that a few local businesses have already agreed to participate.
Smith believes that most Long Islanders are aware of what Carle Place has to offer because “it has nothing going on,” but he believes Winter Festival could change that.
“There’s so much more than a couple of restaurants and pizzerias in town. I’m just trying to create a mood, something nice so someone will stop in and take their kids inside and remember their visit here,” Smith explained.
His plan is to contact local churches and try to organize carolers to walk the streets during the event. Smith also hopes to have each participating resident or business construct a creative and inexpensive tree in addition to whatever decorations they’d like to hang. He said a contest for best decorations is in the works but will depend on receiving enough participation from the community.
The caveat, Smith said, is spreading the word and getting residents and merchants involved.
“People say the community is not involved and they don’t shop in Carle Place because they have so many other options. What we really need is to get more merchants involved.
“Maybe it won’t be great this year, but it’s repeatable. We can do this for decades and every year the better it can get. Maybe then some other retail stores will fill up these empty stores,” said Smith.
But if all goes according to plan, the Tullio’s owner is planning on “going over the top” to increase sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas and provide business owners with a list of potential interested customers.
“Let’s get people into our stores, let them look around, let them have fun in Carle Place instead of sitting in traffic on Glen Cove Road,” said Smith.