Destination: Great Neck, a grassroots organization aimed at promoting and revitalizing the peninsula’s business district, is hosting its second-annual “West Egg” event June 11-12, where a simultaneous celebration of the Village of Great Neck’s 100th anniversary will also take place.
The group was founded last year by a handful of interested community members who want to see Great Neck’s business district revitalized, including local attorney Janet Nina Esagoff. Esagoff, in a phone interview, said helping to found the organization was a “passion project” for her and she lauded the work of the group’s executive board, which includes Denise Hill, Lisa Saltzman and Haleh Fouladi.
“We have a great, diverse board spanning different parts of Great Neck,” Esagoff said. “We urge everyone to join our efforts and appreciate all hands on deck.”
Now that more than a year has passed since the group’s inaugural West Egg event, Esagoff said the organization’s prominence and its social media presence has been growing throughout the peninsula. Pairing more community support with the Village of Great Neck’s partnering to host the event has resulted in this year’s West Egg event becoming a two-day endeavor and more attractions than last year.
Carnival rides, live music and performances from local dance troupes, food trucks, karaoke and a laser light show are just some of the highlights attendees can expect throughout the weekend. Esagoff said the group will also be conducting its first “Faces of Great Neck” awards, a ceremony designating certain members of the community who have “given their all” to make Great Neck a better place.
“We’re going to make this an annual event where we are able to honor our own members of the community,” Esagoff said. “It’s really a community-building event, which is what Destination: Great Neck is all about.”
Efforts to revitalize the peninsula in a way beneficial to all of the villages have been made in the past. In 2019, the Great Neck Village Officials Association began hosting meetings that featured elected officials, business owners and guest speakers such as Eric Alexander of Vision Long Island.
Esagoff said the group has slightly shifted its focus from strictly being the “cheerleaders” aiming at bringing merchants to Great Neck and have pivoted to the arts and culture aspect, focusing on the Roaring Twenties and the peninsula’s Broadway legacy.
“We’re also acting as somewhat of a booster club to unify different sectors of Great Neck,” Esagoff said. “Great Neck is very unique and diverse…it also acts as a tourism board and we’re excited and ramping up our website.”
The event will take place at the Village Green on Saturday from 5-11 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
For more information surrounding Destination: Great Neck or the West Egg event, individuals can visit https://www.destinationgreatneck.com/ and follow the organization’s social media pages. Esagoff said the group is based solely on volunteer participation and encouraged others who want to get involved and help revitalize the peninsula’s business district are welcome to pitch in.