Arts Below Sunrise festival takes place along Broadway in Hewlett on Oct. 14

Getting interactive and canine friendly


A Five Towns staple since 2011, the Arts Below Sunrise Music and STEAM Festival continues to pick up steam. In 2016, the street fair honed in on a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) theme, and that continues this year with more activities, exhibits, music and food planned for the Oct. 14 event, along Broadway by the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library.

Coordinated by the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools Endowment Fund, this year’s festival will have more than 50 interactive exhibits and activities from The Cradle of Aviation, the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, the Molloy College Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring Program, the Star Wars Jedi Light Saber Guild and more.

More than 3,500 people attended last year’s festival, and John Roblin, chairman of the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools Endowment Fund, said that they’re hoping for another large turnout and some lovely fall weather. He also said he hopes the event’s STEAM programs inspire the younger visitors. “Getting young children interested in the possibilities open to them in science, math, and the arts is key in keeping them engaged in education,” he said.

There will also be a petting zoo, demonstrations from the Hewlett High School robotics teams, a performance by the National Theater for Children and a community art program. Kosher and non-kosher food trucks will offer a variety of meals, and Trinity-St. John’s Episcopal Church will serve Caribbean dishes. Used books will be on sale, and the Town of Hempstead’s mobile truck will be there to offer senior IDs, Child Safety IDs and passport services.

It takes help from several other community partners to hold this event, including Hewlett-Woodmere Business Association, the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library, and Trinity St. John’s Church. “Arts Below Sunrise grows every year,” said David Friedman, president of the HWBA. “The interactive educational exhibits, music, food and the community working together to create a fun experience for all.”

Roblin noted a new attraction that he is particularly excited for, and hopes will engage many who attend. “Year after year, we noticed that the community brought their furry friends with them when enjoying the festival day and we wanted to try to make it special for those families as well,” he said. “Therefore, new this year will be a costume contest and parade for well-behaved dogs. There will be an award for the best STEAM-related costume and prizes provided by Fido Fitness Club and the Barrie Inn [a dog grooming and boarding service in Woodmere].”

Using legacy media, social media and word-of-mouth, Arts Below Sunrise organizers didn’t mess a beat in promoting the event. “Don’t miss a day of learning, fun and inspiration for the whole family,” Julie Pareles, a member of the endowment fund’s board of directors, stated in a press release.