Valley Stream Community Fest draws thousands to Rockaway Avenue


More than 10,000 people flocked to Rockaway Avenue for this year’s Community Fest on Sept. 23, according to Marie McNair, chairperson of the Community Fest committee.

“I think the day was a total success,” she said. “The day was great, magnificent.”

This year’s Community Fest featured a new food court in the center of the street fair that consolidated food options and seating. According to McNair, the vendors were happy with that arrangement and one vendor even offered guests roasted corn, which the committee had been trying to get at the Community Fest for the past few years.

Children were able to enjoy a new petting zoo, an inflatable slide and a train that went around the side streets and ended back at the fair. “People loved the train ride,” said McNair. “The train was always full.”

Crowds also gathered to watch dancers from Layla’s Dance and Drum as they performed various dances and drum demonstrations on Rockaway Avenue from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Toddlers, ranging from 2 ½ years old to 5 years old, also did double dutch and the older children did a roller skating dance.

“I’m basically bringing back the ‘80s with their music,” said Anayo Michel, owner of Layla’s Dance and Drum.

Michel used the performances as a way to advertise her business and all of its upcoming events. “There’s a lot going on and the Community Fest was a great way to start our fall season,” she said.

Community Fest was sponsored by the Valley Stream Chamber of Commerce and the Village of Valley Stream, both of which McNair thanked for their help. “They really did it all,” she said.

Mayor Ed Fare echoed McNair’s gratitude, and said that the corporate sponsors were “greatly appreciated, and went a long way to making the day successful.”

Fare said that the Community Fest committee, Nassau County Police Department, Valley Stream auxiliary police and fire department “worked tirelessly to provide a bigger and better Community Fest than ever before.