Festival will return to Merrick this weekend

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Last year, the hamlet was amiss with the absence of the annual Fall Festival, typically offering a weekend of fun with rides, food and shopping. This weekend, those sights and smells will return in full swing.

While it was cancelled last year due to Covid-19, tickets for this year’s festival, hosted by the Merrick Chamber of Commerce, are now on sale. At www.merrickchamber.org, guests can purchase carnival tickets for a reduced price of $30 — on the days of the festival, tickets will be $35. Individual ride sales will also be available at the ticket booth daily.

As always, general admission to browse the hundreds of local vendors’ booths is free.

“We’re very excited about it,” said Julie Marchesella, a past president of both the Merrick Chamber and the Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce. “The best value is to purchase [tickets] online.”

The loss of the festival last year was a blow to the chamber, which relies on the revenues generated to fund its holiday lights program, as well as other community initiatives. Without the influx of funding, the chamber had to rely on its reserve funds to ensure those programs lived on last year.

Now, according to Chamber President Ira Reiter, the festival will be back bigger than ever. This year will feature more rides than previous years along with a magic show and a petting zoo.

“We tried to think of any possible way to make this happen,” Reiter said, “and we thought outside the box.”
Reiter added that he also expects a huge attendance. He recently tabled at the Massapequa and Bellmore fairs for his dog treat company, The Barking Biscuit, both of which had a large turnout.

This will be the first Merrick Festival for Reiter to promote his company to friends and neighbors as well. Pets are welcome to stop by, and they’re sure to enjoy the many other pet-friendly food offerings found at the festival.

The Merrick business community is also ramped up to welcome hundreds of newcomers and familiar faces, namely the area’s restaurant owners who have faced a tumultuous year of Covid stipulations.

“We expect everyone to come out in swarms,” Reiter said.
“We’re very excited to be hosting and to be doing so after many, many years,” Marchesella said.

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