Residents of all ages raced to Speno Memorial Park last Saturday for one of the most beloved neighborhood events of the year: East Meadow Community Pride Day.
Leaders and locals celebrated a milestone, as 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the festive and free event. Thanks to the East Meadow Kiwanis Club, Chamber of Commerce and other leaders who helped organize and run Pride Day, families were able to spend the early afternoon in the park while learning a bit more about their community,
Alan Beinhacker, who co-chairs the event with Liz Fries and Ellen DeRosa, said the significance and spirit of the event is all in the name. “You should take pride in where you live and where you work,” he explained. “There are definitely draws to being part of East Meadow — it’s a tight-knit community, the schools are great and the people who own businesses here couldn’t be nicer. [Pride Day participants] show that they’re here, they’re here to stay and that they want people in the town to know it.”
Participants, or those who run their own booths to showcase their work, ranged from politicians, police and firefighters, religious leaders, community and civic groups officials and business owners. More than 50 merchants and local organizations supported the event, including Burger City, the Green Turtle, Bagelicious, Pietro’s and Borrelli’s Italian Restaruant, Fries said.
There were also plenty of activities for children. Youngsters had their faces painted, ran through a maze, tumbled down an inflatable slide, participated in “Velcro Olympics,” played games and sports, perused an art show featuring the work of East Meadow School District students and watched live musical performances.
Scouting groups and locally elected officials like Nassau County Legislator Norma Gonsalves and State Assemblyman Tom McKevitt were also involved. They helped Kiwanis and the chamber honor longtime business owners and members who’ve given back to the community by dedicating plaques and planting trees in the park for them.