On the bright and sunny Sunday afternoon of June 12, the Massapequa Chamber of Commerce held their annual Street Fair from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., bringing the community together with local businesses and entertainment to make for a fun, family-friendly event.
The Massapequa Chamber of Commerce has been hosting the Street Fair in conjunction with the Town of Oyster Bay for four years running now. Previously, they hosted a similar event in the parking lot of the Massapequa train station, but once they moved the event out onto Broadway—spanning the blocks between Veterans Boulevard and Clark Avenue—the event really took off, according to Anthony C. Ventiera, co-chair of the event and a past-president of the Chamber.
“A past president of the chamber, Joseph Basile, had a dream to hold the street fair in the street. He ran the fair the first year, but unfortunately, he became very ill afterwards and passed away…I had experience putting on these kind of events, so I took over in Joseph’s memory,” he said. “It’s a great community event, and we really like to get the people out to participate and walk the streets. There’s plenty of vendors here, so it’s a combination of a community event and also a fundraiser for the Chamber of Commerce.”
The event featured approximately 140 businesses and vendors showing off their wares, ranging anywhere from food and snacks to clothing and accessories, exercises studios, martial arts, toys, animal adoption, and much more. In addition, kids got to have the time of their lives frolicking in a petting zoo and going for pony rides.
The Chamber also went out of their way to make sure that festival-goers had plenty to do to make for a fun family day. J.P. Scarisbrick, co-chair of the event and a current board member of the Chamber, noted that the Street Fair is not only about promoting local shopping, but to give back to the community that supports its businesses as well.
“There are a lot of vendors…we really try to promote the concept of ‘shop local within our community,’ so anyone who’s wants to participate, a member of the Chamber or not, is welcome to do so,” he said. “Plus, we have a whole area of rides for the kids, including a whole bunch of inflatables. In addition, we have two Showmobiles from the Town of Oyster Bay, and we’re going to be showcasing a lot of community talent, including local schools and bands performing musical numbers for attendees.”
On one of the Showmobiles, students from the drama club of Raymond J. Lockhart Elementary School put on an abbreviated version of a recent play they had performed to a huge crowd of onlookers. It was the Massapequa School District’s way of showing the public what their kids have been learning all year long, according to drama teacher Kathleen Dyckman.
“We did have a great big production of The Lion King a few months ago, and we wanted to entertain and come out to the community and show them what we have to offer as far as the music program at Lockhart goes,” she said. “I think they did a great job…they’re amazing, and every time I hear them I think they get better and better.”
Dennis Kane is a teacher at Dipamkara Meditation, a studio located at 516 Broadway, and as a participant in the fair, was offering free 10-minute meditations for passerbys.
“We’ve been here two years, and we teach meditation and the practicing of inner peace by the way the Buddha taught,” he said. “What causes our difficulties is not what’s outside of us, but what’s inside of us and reacting to it. By concentrating on breathing and virtuous intentions, the mind becomes more peaceful.”
Another local vendor was All About Spay and Neuter, a cat rescue and adoption shelter at 4209 Merrick Rd. in Massapequa.
“We spay and neuter feral cats and we bring their kittens into the shelter to be socialized, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered for adoption,” said Janice Drayer, a volunteer at the shelter. “And the more cats we adopt out, the more cats we can save off the streets and rescue, so we encourage everyone to come down and check us out.”
Ventiera said that turn-out for the street fair has always been fantastic, and based on the support from the public, it’s an event that the Chamber intends to put on each and every year for the foreseeable future, even if this year’s edition had an uncomfortably close brush with bad weather.
“Last year we had a tremendous response to the event. We figure about 10,000 people showed up last year, and we’re anticipating the same, if not better this year because of the wonderful weather that we’re going to have,” he said. “Originally the fair was scheduled for June 5, but we pushed it back a week to the 12th because of inclement weather. Luckily, the weather today is beautiful, so it’s turning out to be a wonderful event for all.”