September 25, 2013 | 591 views
Come one, come all to the street fair
After months of planning and preparations, the Valley Stream Community Fest on Rockaway Avenue is set for Saturday. Following a successful first run last year, event planners are expecting another fun day this weekend, and hoping for some good weather.
The festival will take place between Merrick Road and Sunrise Highway from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
There will be more businesses and community groups participating this year — about 150 in all — said David Sabatino, president of Envision Valley Stream and head of the festival’s organizing committee.
The committee, which is made up of various community leaders and residents, has met more frequently as the festival approaches to make sure the day goes off without a hitch.
There will be new attractions this year, including a bowling lane and classic car show, as well as performances sprinkled throughout the day on a Town of Hempstead “Showmobile” at the corner of Mineola Avenue, and also in the intersection of Lincoln Avenue.
There has been an increase in Rockaway Avenue businesses that are participating this year, Sabatino said, and there will be food options for festival-goers all the way through. Also, the Baha’i Center of Nassau County, located on Jamaica Avenue just off Rockaway Avenue, will have restrooms available.
Vendor registration closed on Sept. 6, and Sabatino said it has been difficult fitting everyone in this year. “I’ve had to deny people, which is upsetting, but we’re physically out of space,” he said. “I don’t want it to be so jam packed that some people complain about not having enough space.”
Saundra Hernandez, owner of Gym 4 Kidz on Rockaway Avenue, which opened in 2012, said she’s excited for the festival. “That’s where we really introduced ourselves last year,” she said.
Last year, the side roads were closed a block away from Rockaway Avenue, but that will not be the case on Saturday. Sabatino said this was changed to give drivers better access to the parking lots behind the Rockaway Avenue businesses.
James Giordano, vice president of Envision Valley Stream, came up with the initial idea for a festival about two years ago. He said planning for this year’s event has been much easier than the first time. “I’m excited to see how it goes having had done this already one time around,” he said. “It should be a much smoother process for us this time.”