The Manhasset Chamber of Commerce’s Manhasset Al Fresco is set to kick off June 12 on South Plandome Road, where the Manhasset High School Boys Basketball team will be honored after winning the state championship earlier this year.
The team finished what was started by 2019’s roster, which lost in the state semifinals. After securing the Long Island championship on March 12 with a victory over Kings Park, Manhasset (25-1) headed to Glens Falls, where the team beat New Hartford.
Winning was something 75-year-old head coach George Bruns and his assistant Stu Goldman could not believe.
“We were just sitting here saying to each other ‘did that really just happen this weekend?’” Bruns said previously to Blank Slate Media. “This was my 20th year coaching here, and this could be the most talented team I’ve had. But still, you never can expect this to happen.”
Bobby Anastasia, a lifelong Manhasset resident who is an announcer for the team and maintains the stats, encouraged everyone to come out and support the team, during the first weekend of the Al Fresco at the Mary Jane Davies Park at 6:30 p.m. June 12.
“Some of the fans of this team couldn’t attend the parade through the streets of Manhasset in March, and the chamber thought this would be a fitting way for those fans and others to applaud the team’s accomplishment,” Anastasia said.
The Al Fresco’s launch weekend follows a successful first stint in 2021, with more businesses looking to participate in the summer-long event.
“Last year we were kind of begging people to get involved, Matthew Donno, co-president of the chamber, 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.”
Aside from honoring the basketball team, 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 and a screening of the movie “Encanto”.
Future dates and locations for the Al Fresco will be June 26 on North Plandome Road from 4-9 p.m., July 10 on South Plandome Road from 4-9 p.m., July 24 on North Plandome Road from 4-9 p.m., Aug. 13 on South Plandome Road from 6-9:30 p.m. and Sept. 18 on North Plandome Road from 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Residents can visit shopmanhasset.com or the chamber’s website for further information regarding the events.