After a successful inaugural run last summer, the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce will once again be hosting a Manhasset Al Fresco series beginning in June.
The six-evening event will once again promote outdoor dining, shopping at local businesses and entertainment along Plandome Road kicking off June 12.
Matthew Donno, the co-president of the chamber, said businesses and sponsors have been chomping at the bit to be a part of the event following last year’s results.
“Last year we were kind of begging people to get involved, Donno said in a phone interview. “Now we’re having so many people reaching out to us to participate and support the events for this year.”
The Al Fresco is partially sponsored by the Town of North Hempstead’s Lift Up Local initiative to aid local businesses following the coronavirus pandemic.
Though the pandemic’s restrictions spurred the creation of the Al Fresco last year, Donno said there was never a question as to whether or not the event would be held again this year, despite most of the pandemic’s restrictions being lifted.
“I think we had such success and the response from the community was so positive,” Donno said. “It was a great opportunity to have live music and other activities go on for Manhasset residents of all ages to come and enjoy. Hopefully, this is something that is here to stay.”
Donno said growing up in Manhasset, one of the biggest events to attend was the Memorial Day Parade.
Now, trying to get the younger generation more active and involved in community events has become more difficult with the prominence of technology and online gaming, along with the pandemic. He said the turnout last year was a beacon of hope to have an outlet for families to collectively enjoy their community in a public setting.
“The society we live in has moved away from those traditional town events,” Donno said. “COVID actually inspired people to want to be around other people again. So it’s a great way for parents to get the kids off their iPads.”
Some of the highlights will include performances from Manhasset High School’s Contemporary Ensemble, Glenn Strange Band, Liam Morrisey and the Dave Diamond Band along with a talent show, a screening of the movie “Encanto” and a ceremony honoring the Manhasset Boys Basketball team, who won this year’s state championship.