Nassau County's largest street festival will return to the Bellmores for the 24th year next week. The Bellmore Family Street Festival will kick off on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 11 a.m., and the carnival only will begin on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m.
The event, which is held at the Bellmore Long Island Rail Road train station by the Bellmore Chamber of Commerce, covers 25-square blocks and draws more than120,000 visitors to the Bellmores annually. "The community and visitors from outside the community look forward to this every year," said Joni Caputo, the festival director.
This festival's theme this year is "A Visit to Toyland," and the event will offer more than 130 exhibits and attractions for every age group and interest. There will be:
•Kids Expo. David Fun n Magic will be there to entertain the entire family. His show features a live rabbit, audience participation and more.
•Petting Zoo. KIds will have fun riding ponies and making crafts. There will also be smaller carnival rides, cookie decorating, face painting and more.
•Crafts Fair. More than 150 vendors will sell hand-made items.
•Carnival. Thrill rides like the Himalaya and the Riptide are likely to be top attractions. There will also be games to win prizes along with a musical review by Calhoun High School's drama club.
•Military Expo. There will be extensive memorabilia from local veterans' organizations as well as exhibits of Humvees, a 25-foot mock submarine, flight simulators and more.
•Entertainment. The Joe Bayer Band will perform, as will Late Nite Audio, SouthBound and Savannah Key. Come down and enjoy the live music and dance along.
The Business Expo featuring Bellmore businesses and a Health and Wellness Expo will also return to the festival. The Health Expo will feature local medical centers giving out advice as well as onsite medical screenings. There will also be a Sports Expo with professional teams from across the area. Teams, including the Rangers, Islanders and Long Island Ducks, will be present.
Caputo said that the expos will be "very, very interactive" this year.
Admission to the festival is free, as is parking. Free shuttle buses will be provided to take patrons into the heart of the festivities.
"It's a great place to come; you don't have to spend a lot of money," Caputo said.
Comments about this story? DKrasula@liherald.com or (516) 569-4000 ext. 236.