Scores of tents turned Jericho Turnpike between Willis Avenue and Mineola Boulevard into a corridor of commerce, food and fun on Sunday for the Mineola street fair despite a dreary overcast.
In front of the Mineola Fire Department, three old-fashioned trucks were stationed for children to climb on, ring the bells and flash the lights.
“In light of the crummy weather,” Mineola Auxiliary Police Inspector Michael Spae said, “it’s been a really nice day.”
“All the kids playing and the vendors,” resident Patricia Palmerri said, “it’s fun to get out and be a part of.”
As two separate main stages at the east and west end of the fair offered music and featured dancers, martial artists and other performances, vendors sold hand-made and novelty items throughout the fair, and trucks as well as restaurants fed fairgoers local fare.
Halfway through the fair, the Fire Department’s siren began to blare, pausing the musical performances and drawing the gaze of fairgoers. The deafening alarm subsided, and a representative from the department said the firefighters were responding to a call about a stalled elevator car.
The fair took three months of planning, according to Chamber of Commerce President Joel Harris, and it was the first year that the chamber partnered with the Nassau County Craft Shows, an event company, to ensure the largest fair to date.
“We had fantastic participation from residents and nonresidents,” Harris said. “It was a huge success of a day and great opportunity for locals to meet business owners and even sample the local fare.”
Alan Finchley, owner of Nassau County Craft Shows, said the Mineola fair “was a fantastic success,” against some odds.
“There was a lot of competition on Long Island on Sunday,” Finchley said about other street fairs in the region. “Our main goal was to create awareness for this particular event because it has an elite location and really has the likelihood for high attendance.”
“Long Island is a sort of unparalleled part of the country for frequency of events like these, and Sunday showed great promise,” Finchley said. He also said he believes that the fair has the potential for exponential growth.
Mineola village Trustee Dennis Walsh said: “Considering how cloudy it is I think it’s a terrific fair all the same. I really enjoy just circling around and seeing everybody I know.”
Walsh also spent time with other residents at the Irish American Society on Banbury Avenue, just past the inflatable children’s rides, listening to different bands and watching step dancers perform.
“It’s been a great day,” Jeff Clark, president of the Irish American Society, said. “The music has been fantastic and the pipers did a phenomenal job starting the day off. It’s been a great festival for Mineola.”