Coming together at the fair

Oceanside Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual event


Free cotton candy, an inflatable slide and more than 50 local businesses were just some of the attractions that brought members of the Oceanside community together last Saturday for the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce County Fair.

“We’re trying to get Oceanside together and get more people involved in the Chamber,” said Robert Towers, one of the directors of Oceanside Chamber of Commerce.

The annual fair was moved a month earlier this year to attract more people to the event while school is still in session. The Town of Hempstead clerk’s office supplied free passport pictures and their Child Safety Program.

Adam Reiss, who works for the town clerk’s office said the program aims to help parents be prepared in case their child is ever in trouble. The program sends parents home with their child’s fingerprint record, a file photo and space to fill in their medical and dental records and personal information.

Dr. Michael Orzano had a table at the fair to commemorate the history of Oceanside, starting in 1643 when the town was called Rechquaakie. Educating attendees about the town's history, he said, is another component to the fair.

Betsy Transom, another Chamber of Commerce director, said she was pleased with the steady flow of people in attendance at the fair.

“It’s a joy to have the fair on Schoolhouse Green,” Transom said. “Most days it is just a place for people to hang out, but today the commerce brings people together here.”

Schoolhouse Green was rejuvenated in 2000 by the Chamber of Commerce; the field was home to School # 1 and was barren for more than a decade before the clean-up initiative 10-years-ago.

Eleven Oceanside businesses sponsored the slide and cotton candy, which Oceanside father, Chris Tuwe thought was a nice idea.

“It’s nice that you can walk around and buy gifts but the cotton candy and slide are free,” Tuwe said. “When there is cotton candy, there are smiles.”

(Rebecca Toback is an Oceanside resident and a junior at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she majors in magazine journalism).