An event that organizers say, “brings the community together” will be held in the Five Towns for the eighth consecutive year. The Arts Below Sunrise Music & STEAM festival in Hewlett and Woodmere will be held on Sept. 22 and take place along a closed section of Broadway between the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library and Irving Place in Woodmere.
Presented by the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools Endowment Fund with the help of roughly 40 volunteers from the Hewlett High School and Woodmere Middle School Youth Leadership forums, the Hewlett-Woodmere Business Association, Trinity-St. John’s Episcopal Church in Hewlett, the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library, and the Hewlett and Woodmere fire departments, the festival puts an emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) learning.
The Endowment Fund includes alumni, educators and families. It raises money to provide grants that support educational ideas not financially covered by the Hewlett-Woodmere School District’s budget.
Last year’s festival had roughly 3,500 attendees and endowment fund board member Julie Parales is expecting a larger turnout this year. “This fair is getting more and more popular each year,” she said. “It’s exciting to see how much it’s grown over the past few years. This fair is a unique, exhilarating experience that brings the community together. Seeing the faces of the young children having fun at the fair is a joy for me.”
HWBA President David Friedman said that the popularity of the fair extends beyond the Five Towns. “We’ve had people from Rockville Centre, Lynbrook and Oceanside come out to the fair,” he said. “It’s a fantastic event that not only brings people together, but also showcases our neighborhood and school district.”
Some events for this year include: an egg drop challenge, a dog costume challenge, a petting zoo, antique cars and a planetarium show held in front of HWPL put together by the Garden City-based Cradle of Aviation Museum. Friedman added that a 53-inch television courtesy of HWBA and a bicycle courtesy of South Shore Bicycle and Fitness in Woodmere will be raffled off.
Endowment fund board member James Hartmann is the head of technology at HWPL. He helps plan the Cradle of Aviation event every year. “The Cradle of Aviation brings an inflatable planetarium for the fair that is put in front of the library that teaches kids about the galaxy,” he said. “The kids love the show every year.” Hartmann added that he enjoys seeing people of all ages attend the fair. “It’s great seeing everybody in the community come out to the fair,” he said. “I see children who come into the library walking around the fair with their parents and grandparents. It just shows that there’s something for everybody at this fair.”
Arts Below Sunrise is on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Broadway in Hewlett and Woodmere. The rain date is Sunday, Oct. 6. For more information, go to http://www.artsbelowsunrise.com/.