‘Williston Day’ turns 41 on Sunday

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The 40th annual Williston Day Street Fair saw thousands of attendees. The fair is one of the chamber's biggest events of the year. (Photo from the Williston Chamber of Commerce)

In September 1978, Williston Park and East Williston united to start “Old Fashioned Day,” a day in which the two communities could get together and let loose on Willis Avenue. Forty-one years later, the tradition is still alive and strong.

The 41st annual Williston Day Street Fair will be this Sunday, uniting the Willistons once again. However, this year will see new leadership.

This year’s fair will run along Hillside Avenue between Willis Avenue and the Long Island Rail Road station between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Eileen Devaney, president of the S.E.E.D.S. of the Willistons and co-president of the Chamber of the Willistons, is now in charge of the operation of the fair. The event is put on every year by the chamber.

“It’s a real community day,” Devaney said. “It’s really a great day for everyone to see each other.”

She said that residents can expect to see many local businesses, as well as 200 outside vendors, selling an assortment of goods such as food, clothing and jewelry.

As usual, it will feature antique cars, a petting zoo, children’s rides, rock ‘n’ roll bands, pony rides and more.

Devaney said that residents can expect to see a return of the children’s rides in the parking lot of the Bank of America on Hillside Avenue after an issue prevented them from being erected at last year’s street fair.

Devaney said many local businesses and the chamber itself will have tables at the fair.

DJ All Star Party LI will perform for the entire event.

At 11 a.m. Herricks Middle School students will perform the national anthem to start the event. Starting at noon, the fair will see performances by the Hidden Talents Dance Center, followed by demonstrations by U.S. Taekwondo at 1 p.m. and Charleswater Karate & Fitness, a performance by students at the Hannah Kroner School of Dance and finally a demonstration by Martial Arts studio Taecole Taekwondo.

“Every year, we host an annual street fair where businesses and groups in Williston Park and East Williston come out and celebrate all that is happening in our town,” the chamber said in a statement. “This is a highlight of the life of our city every year and the Chamber of Commerce is proud to help with this event.”

This year is the first time that Lucille Waters, former executive director for the chamber, will not be helping run the street fair after a 15-year tenure. Waters said she will not be able to attend this year’s fair.

What makes the street fair special, Waters said, is that it is organized by people in the community rather than outside organizations. Waters said that involved parties include local businesses, local Boy Scout troops, Williston Park and East Williston fire departments and the Williston Park Civic Association, along with the chamber.

The rain date for the fair is Sept. 22.

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