New Hyde Park Street Fair adds music in 22nd year

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Amateur musicians play ukuleles at the 2016 New Hyde Park Street Fair. (Photo by Chris Adams)

The New Hyde Park Street Fair will bring the usual swarm of merchants and merrymakers to Jericho Turnpike next weekend, but some sounds will be new this year.

The 22nd annual event on Saturday, Sept. 16, will feature musical performances for the first time in more than a decade, said Janet Bevers, a deputy clerk for the Village of New Hyde Park who helps plan the fair.

“Our hope is that it brings more folks down to the west end and provides a new feature,” Bevers said.

Three singers and a band have been booked to play on a mobile stage that will be set up at the corner of Jericho Turnpike and Covert Avenue between noon and 3:45 p.m. next Saturday. They are Christian Matteo, Zack Reyes, Susan Wendelken and Michael D’Amico and the Witness.

Between 20,000 and 30,000 people take over New Hyde Park’s main thoroughfare for the festival, which will feature some 130 local businesses and community organizations alongside about 175 outside merchants, Bevers said.

Northwell Health, the New Hyde Park-based health care conglomerate, is returning for a third year as the fair’s main sponsor. The company will set up a “Health and Wellness Pavilion” on Lakeville Road north of Jericho Turnpike to showcase its services.

New Hyde Park’s fair, one of the North Shore’s largest, will join fairs in Mineola and Williston Park in offering live music.

The performances could help draw a new crowd, including fans of the performers, to the fair, said Ron Chinesa of Craft-A-Fair, the Franklin Square-based company that helps organize New Hyde Park’s event. The acts will play for free to get the exposure the fair provides, he said.

“Not everyone has visited the fair — even though they may be a local resident, believe it or not — and this may tend to enhance the crowd and bring people out,” Chinesa said.

While the music will be new, the Children’s Carnival, a popular attraction, will return to the municipal parking lot between Central Boulevard and New Hyde Park Road.

While a petting zoo won’t be returning this year, the carnival will feature inflatable rides and interactive activities from the New York Lizards lacrosse team and the Long Island Nets basketball team.

“It’s just some more fun-filled events for [children] to enjoy themselves throughout the day,” Chinesa said.

Though New Hyde Park’s fair draws many merchants and others from outside the village, its location in “the heart of what we would call our Main Street” maintains its local character, Bevers said.

Some new local businesses will be introducing themselves, Bevers said, such as the Olde Trading Post, a recently opened restaurant that will have a barbecue outside its space at 1218 Jericho Turnpike.

The New Hyde Park Street Fair runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16, on Jericho Turnpike between New Hyde Park Road and Covert Avenue.

 

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