Thousands of fair-goers flooded Merrick Avenue in downtown Merrick for the 23rd annual Fall Festival, sponsored by the Merrick Chamber of Commerce. By far, the festival was the largest Chamber of Commerce-sponsored fair to date, said Randy Shotland, the chamber president.
Shotland said that he was particularly proud that the festival served as a fundraiser for local charities. Synergy Fitness Club of Merrick raised $500 for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County by holding a “flash mob” of dancers that strutted up Merrick Avenue to music that was piped through the public announcement system. Synergy raised $500 for UCPN, Shotland said.
Serengeti Design Studios in Merrick held Pony Portraits for Charity, a fundraiser for HorseAbility, a nonprofit organization that helps children with disabilities learn to ride horses. Femy Aziz, Serengeti’s owner, photographed children as they rode the ponies at the fair, at a cost of $3 per photo, with all proceeds going to HorseAbility, whose volunteers collected the funds at the festival.
The weather could not have been better for the fair on Sept. 27 to 29, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. No doubt, the weather helped bring out a crowd for the festival, which featured amusement rides for kids, live entertainment at the Town of Hempstead showmobile, demonstrations by Merrick firefighters and loads of fair food. And, as always, Merrick merchants and professionals set up booths up and down Merrick Avenue, from the Long Island Rail Road station at Sunrise Highway to R.S. Jones restaurant at Loines Avenue.
“Everybody had a good time,” Shotland said. “It was a classy group of people who came.”