Music festival and street fair brings family fun to Great Neck

Music festival and street fair brings family fun to Great Neck
Children enjoy the rides at the carnival hosted at the Village of Great Neck's street fair. (Photo by Cameryn Oakes)

Great Neck residents gathered at Village Green Park over the weekend to enjoy family fun activities under the sun for the town’s annual music festival and street fair.

The two-day festival spanning Saturday and Sunday featured a diverse array of activities for attendees to enjoy at a live music festival with a carnival-like experience.

Saturday’s festival featured the music festival component of the event at Village Green Park from 5-11 p.m.

Sunday was dedicated to the street fair, which stretched down Middle Neck Road from Fairview Avenue to Hicks Lane from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Sunday’s festivities drew many local vendors selling crafts, jewelry, toys and clothing as well as booths from local organizations and food vendors offering carnival-style foods and BBQ.

Latecha Thomas’ business, Natural Beauties jewelry, from Westchester, displayed jewelry from global craftsmen with an emphasis on products from Ghana. She was selling necklaces, rings and bracelets made of materials like carved horn and ebony wood.

This was Thomas’ first time participating in the village’s street fair, but she said she was looking forward to expanding her customer base to a new area.

A stage at Village Green Park hosted live music performances of classic rock songs for attendees to enjoy Sunday as many brought chairs and blankets to sit on the lawn and listen to the beat.

The park also hosted a classic carnival production. Carousel rides, slides, carnival games, face painters and street performers provided family-fun activities for everyone of all ages to enjoy.

Gatsby Fest was featured on Village Green as well as showing Great Neck’s rich history during the 1920s.

Gatsby Fest was hosted by Destination Great Neck, a local organization dedicated to revitalizing Great Neck that was founded by Janet Esagoff in February 2021.

This was the organization’s third Gatsby Fest, which revisits the legacy of “The Great Gatsby” author F. Scott Fitzgerald and his history with Great Neck.

“We could somehow bring the past forward and arts and culture more,” Esagoff said. “Great Neck used to be a hub for arts and culture and we want to bring that back.”

The booth featured signs with information about Great Neck’s history as well as Destination Great Neck tote bags, water bottles and sweatshirts for sale.

As the Village of Great Neck’s festival included an emphasis on music, Esagoff said it paired well with Gatsby Fest’s 20’s jazz theme that shared the history of that era.

She said being at the festival was a great way to promote Destination Great Neck’s message with the community and boost the vibrancy of Great Neck through community involvement.

“We’re trying to get people to become aware of all the highlights of Great Neck,” Esagoff said. “We have a rich past and we’re trying to make Great Neck stand out.”

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