The first Mineola Street Fair held since the COVID-19 pandemic began was cut short due to inclement weather Sunday afternoon, two hours after it began.
Residents slowly congregated on Jericho Turnpike as the fair began at 10 a.m., and the crowd grew until a downpour began at noon. There was no hope to wait it out as it rained harder for a prolonged period. Vendors quickly had to pack up and head back to their cars.
For the roughly two hours the fair went on, attendees were treated to vendors, local organizations and businesses lined up between Mineola Boulevard and Willis Avenue. For food, there was an assortment of cuisines from Greek to Spanish, including tapas. Many restaurants and eateries extended their seating to the sidewalk, but attendees could also turn to a number of food trucks, which offered delectables such as zeppoles or fried Oreos.
Also available as activities were ax throwing on Willis Avenue and a dunk tank hosted by the Mineola Junior Fire Department. As is tradition, a rotation of town officials would have found themselves under an onslaught of baseballs had the weather held up.
During the downpour, as vendors were leaving and families were making their way to their cars, the Junior Fire Department was still operating the dunk tank, much to the happiness of its members and participants.
While music and entertainment were waiting until the rain cleared out to begin, residents were treated to trumpet playing in front of U Spa on Jericho Turnpike.
This year marked the first street fair for Mineola Chamber of Commerce President Louis Panacciulli, who is the music director for the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra. Panacciulli, who was installed as chamber president in June, took over from Joel Harris, who organized the previous three fairs.
The event started over 200 years ago but adopted the name “Mineola Fair” in 1899, according to Panacciulli. It was held in Mineola Memorial Park from 1991 until 2013, when it moved to Main Street. It then settled in its current Jericho Turnpike location in 2016.
According to the chamber’s website, the Mineola Chamber of Commerce will host its monthly dinner meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at Piccola Bussola on Jericho Turnpike.