The sun shone brightly as residents from Williston Park and East Williston spent the 41st Williston Day fair on Hillside Avenue on Sunday checking out local tastes of the community, performances from local groups, a petting zoo and more.
“Williston Park is a great place to live and a great place to work,” Eileen Devaney, of the S.E.E.D.S of the Willistons and co-president of the chamber of the Willistons, said.
This was the first fair without the leadership of Lucille Waters, the former executive director of the chamber, who left the chamber in late 2018. Devaney said that the board decided rather than hiring a new executive director, volunteers from the chamber would help put on the fair. Devaney has been with the chamber for 20 years.
“I think it’s run very well. I think we managed. I think [Waters] did do a lot of work that’s for sure, but I think we were able to pick up the pieces and run with it,” Devaney said.
She said that there were about 178 vendors at the fair including “a couple of stragglers,” or businesses that signed up at the last minute.
The event is a great opportunity for people to meet each other and for businesses to get their products and services out there, Devaney said. This even benefits Devaney’s speech therapy organization as the S.E.E.D.S of the Willistons gets to meet new and old clients and answer questions that potential clients may not want to ask over the phone.
“A lot of people barely know their neighbors and this way they get to see them,” Devaney said. “My particular business I get to see former clients. I get to answer people’s questions that are hesitant to call up and talk about speech therapy.”
Devaney said this year saw the return of the children’s rides in the Bank of America parking lot after last year saw problems that prevented them from being erected.
Penny Zhong, a spokeswoman for Bliss Beauty Spa on Hillside Avenue, said this was her first time at the fair since the spa recently made the move from Manhattan to Williston Park. She said that she was a fan.
“The fair is really cool, so many interesting things, dances, and people, lots of people,” Zhong said. “This is the first time for me and it’s great to meet a lot of the local vendors.”
Zhong said, however, that the fair should try to incorporate more diverse options for food and performances. She said that this could include serving Korean barbecue, Indian cuisine and Chinese street food.
When asked if she believes that Williston Day will eventually hit 100 years old, Devaney said: “ I don’t know … I won’t see it but maybe my kids and grandkids will … But I think it will because the fire departments are here, service organizations are here plus all these vendors that are all over and they say they want to be in this fair because it’s such a good one.”