Food, families and fun were spread along Jericho Turnpike Saturday afternoon for the 24th annual New Hyde Park Street Fair. For the whole day residents and attendees gathered under the hot sun to grab a bite or catch up with neighbors after a two-year delay.
Last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19, and the fair in 2019 was not held due to LIRR construction.
In conjunction with Craft-A-Fair Long Island, the village put on the event along Jericho Turnpike from New Hyde Park Road to Lakeville Road.
Even with all the space, there was not a seat left in the house, thanks to over 120 local businesses, community service organizations and outside vendors, according to Mayor Chris Devane.
“We completely sold out as far as vendors go,” the mayor said Saturday evening after his first fair since being elected. “It’s great to have the fair back. The weather’s perfect as always.”
People were treated to a number of activities and options, ranging from a slice of pizza at Gino’s to a cold refreshment at the Angry Gnome Pub. The opportunities, and sometimes lines, were endless.
Demonstrations were also provided by the John Chung Tae Kwon Do studio, which showcased students’ martial arts abilities.
Also present for the fair was the New Hyde Park Fire Department. The first responders simulated removing a victim from an automobile, using various tools, such as the jaws of life, as the crowd grew. Once the “victim” was saved, the department went ahead and transformed what was an SUV into a convertible.
For vendors, the fair was a great opportunity to catch up on lost time.
Steve Vallone, who operates “Steve’s Wooden Creations” out of Uniondale, said it was great to be back.
“The crowd is very good this year; they’re into it and it’s very well run,” said Vallone, who has been to the past five New Hyde Park fairs.
Another crowd that never died down was at the “Jewelry Heaven” booth set up on the corner of Jericho and North Twelfth Street. Vendors Maria and Dimitrios Papazoglou, who have been going to fairs throughout Queens and Long Island for a decade, wished the day never ended.
“It’s been very busy the whole time. I wish it was longer,” said Maria, who often was putting earrings and necklaces in bags for patrons. “I love to do this sort of thing; the people are always nice,” she said.
“We’re so happy to finally get this back,” Devane said. “You could not have asked for a better turnout from all parties involved.”