The smell of grilled hot dogs and burgers filled the air as businesses and residents from Baldwin and the Town of Hempstead celebrated the 22nd annual Baldwin Day last Saturday. The Baldwin Chamber of Commerce hosted the festivities at Baldwin Park, where residents of all ages listened to live music, played games, won prizes, ate free food and enjoyed fireworks.
“Baldwin Day has sentimental meaning to me because I’ve been to every single one of them,” said Ginny Foley, a member of the board of directors of the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce. “Without all the volunteers and the donations from the merchants, none of this would be possible.”
Baldwin merchants, who helped fund the event, set up tables around the park to promote their businesses – continuing the long standing Baldwin Day theme, “Shop Baldwin first,” that allows chamber members to market themselves, encouraging more people to shop in Baldwin.
“I like coming to Baldwin Day because I get to see the new advertising stuff and meet new people,” said Jordan Sullivan, a Baldwin resident who took part in the festivities for the second year. “I never knew the [business] Mathnasium existed, and I learned that a lot of the other businesses offer games for kids.”
“There are businesses that I didn’t know about, and I got to find out what those businesses offer, where they are and how I can help to support them,” said Marsha Fecu, a Baldwin resident, who brought her children to the event. “I’m always looking for ways to shop in Baldwin before I move on to other towns for my family’s shopping needs.”
About eight years ago, Erik Mahler, co-president of the chamber’s board of directors, started the fireworks show. “When I took over the Baldwin Day event, I made it bigger and better,” Mahler said. “I started the fireworks show because I love fireworks, and I think Baldwin should always go out with a bang.”
As people listened to the concert at 7:30 p.m., anticipation for the firework sshow increased. “I’m so excited for the fireworks tonight because while I’m out on the lawn in my own community, I get to be around people who may or may not be my neighbors,” Fecu said. “Which has allowed me to meet so many new people over the years.”
“I’m a fireworks person, so I always enjoy the fireworks at the end of every Baldwin Day,” said Karen Montalbano, president of the Baldwin Civic Association. “Watching the sky light up with beauty never fails to fascinate me.”
At 9:15, attendees sat on blankets on the park’s great lawn to watch the fireworks brighten the dark night sky. The colorful display capped off another year of Baldwin Day fun.
“This is a chance for everyone to come out to Baldwin to see what we have here in Baldwin,” Montalbano said. “I give kudos to the chamber for running this event, because they’ve been doing it for a really long time.”