The Gold Coast Business Association is making preparations for its fifth annual Fall Fest on Sunday, Sept. 30 at The First National Bank of Long Island’s Glen Head branch. Over 40 business vendors from across the North Shore will set up shop in the bank’s parking lot, offering local goods, fresh produce and handcrafted items to members of the community.
“Every year the main focus is to bring awareness to the businesses in our area, showcase them, and give people the chance to meet the owners,” said Deborah Gordon, the president of the association. “People realize places that they pass every day, and it really places importance on shopping locally.”
Gordon originated the event five years ago when she first joined the organization. Back then it was called the Glen Head-Glenwood Business Association, and the event was known as the Glen Head Farmers Market. But since the group’s rebranding in August, Gordon has shifted the association and the event’s reach beyond the two hamlets.
“The name change has definitely helped,” she said, adding that the first meeting post-rebrand was attended by 40 people. “People feel even more welcome, and the new event name sounds fun and more inviting.”
Originally, Fall Fest was contained in a single parking lot with only 25 vendors. Then Rottkamp Brothers Farm, in Glen Head, was brought on as a vendor to draw people in. Five years later, Fall Fest now takes up two lots, with over 45 vendors.
In addition to the restaurants, gift shops and businesses that will be featured at Fall Fest, Gordon said there would be entertainment, too. The Glenwood Landing Fire Department will be there with some fire trucks for kids to enjoy, and North Shore High School’s dance team, Pulse, will perform a few routines.
“It’s an explosion,” said Rob Mansfield, who owns Grassroots, an organic bakery in Glen Head. His business has participated in Fall Fest since the beginning, and he has watched it grow over the years.
“The association has worked to build a business community not just in Glen Head, but in surrounding areas as well,” he added. “All these areas on our North Shore hamlet are pulled together through this event.”
Mansfield said Fall Fest is a great opportunity to bring new customers into local storefronts. “People who wouldn’t normally venture into the store are surprised by what they find,” he said.
Resident Christina DeNovellis, who works at Beautiful Flowers Floristry in Glen Head, said she enjoys the camaraderie the event inspires among residents who attend. “It’s different than being in your shop,” she said. “You’re out there, you see people walking through who you haven’t seen in years, and you get to chat with other business owners in the community.”
Mansfield agrees that the close-knit camaraderie of the Gold Coast, as well as its business association, gives both shoppers and storeowners a better respect for the community they live in.
“It’s a togetherness,” he said. “You’re able to share information and share your stories. A community that’s banding and branding together is a strong one.”
Fall Fest kicks off at The First National Bank of Long Island, 209 Glen Head Road, Glen Head, on Sept. 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.