This Sunday’s Mineola street fair will be more family-centric than ever before, said Mineola Chamber of Commerce President Joel Harris.
“We are putting together this street fair as entertainment for families,” Harris said. “It is more than just buying things.”
Recently Mineola chamber member Tony Lubrano said that the group had “really upped our game” for the fair. Harris said he agreed with Lubrano’s sentiment.
This year’s fair will run along Jericho Turnpike from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Mineola Boulevard and Willis Avenue. The rain date for the fair is Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We are expecting more vendors than we’ve had in the past,” Harris said. “We’re making it bigger and better as we go along.”
Lubrano said the chamber has gotten more children’s rides, a new dunk tank, a petting zoo, horse and pony rides, and even an “Escape the Room” bus.
What makes the fair unique, Harris said, is the sheer size of the event and “family-centric” theme of the yearly event with all the additional options available on top of checking out local vendors.
The chamber’s event has the support of the Mineola village board, which gave Lubrano time to speak about the fair at a Sept. 4 board meeting.
Members of the Mineola Chamber of Commerce “have a big investment in this community and if you don’t have a strong business community our residential community won’t be as strong,” Mineola Mayor Scott Strauss said. “Their success is our success.”
Strauss is no stranger to the fair. A big staple of the fair is Strauss spending time in the dunk tank.
Strauss will be getting a break from the dunk tank this year, Lubrano said. Rather than the mayor sitting in the dunk tank all day waiting to getting dunked by residents, business owners and trustees, this year he will only have to do it for 30 minutes, Lubrano said.
Lubrano said some of the local leaders who will be taking shifts in the dunk tank include County Legislature Presiding Officer Rich Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park), former Mineola Mayor Jack Martins, Deputy Mayor Paul Perreira and village Clerk Joe Scalero.
Lubrano said the chamber will be getting photos of Strauss’ “revenge” dunking other local leaders and trustees after many years in the dunk tank.
“What makes this place a community is all these little things where almost everybody knows each other,” Lubrano said.
Lubrano said the blueprint of the fair started as an agricultural fair named the Mineola Fair in the late 1800s. Lubrano said when he moved to Mineola in 2003, the street fair was more of a “craft show kind of fair” with a focus on children’s shows at Mineola Memorial Park.
He said the decision to move the fair to Jericho Turnpike for the past five years was made because the chamber’s goal is to help local businesses and it felt that the park was too small to help local businesses.
Lubrano said businesses that did not participate in New Hyde Park’s Community Day, which replaced the village’s annual street fair, will be at the Mineola street fair.
On what makes a great community, Harris said it’s the people within it.
“It’s a day for Mineola,” he said.