The Mineola Chamber of Commerce’s Tony Lubrano said the group has “really upped our game” for this year’s street fair on Sept 22.
The street fair, held on Jericho Turnpike, is a big one for local commerce. While Lubrano is a former president of the chamber, he is still actively involved in the street fair as a member of a chamber committee in charge of it.
“We’ve added a lot of more pieces to the puzzle,” Lubrano said. “We’re trying to get as many local businesses involved.”
Lubrano said the chamber has gotten more children’s rides, a new dunk tank, horse and pony rides, and an “Escape the Room” bus.
Lubrano said the event 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.
The fair was moved to Jericho Turnpike for the past five years because the chamber’s goal is to help local businesses, Lubrano said, and it was felt that the park was too small to accomplish that. Lubrano said businesses that could not participate in New Hyde Park’s Community Day, which replaced the village’s annual street fair, will be at the Mineola street fair.
The chamber’s event has the support of the Mineola village board, which gave Lubrano time to speak about the fair at a meeting last Wednesday.
The chamber has “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.”
A big staple of the fair has been Strauss spending the whole time in the dunk tank.
But he will be getting a break 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 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 Richard 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.
All money raised from the fair will go to the Mineola Junior Firefighters, he said.