The Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce’s sixth annual Fall Festival on Oct. 1 kicked it up a notch this year with more alluring merchandise, more tasty food choices, animal rescue opportunities and children’s craft stations to keep the little ones active.
The awesome autumn weather drew throngs of delighted families and friends to the Plainview-Old Bethpage Library parking lot filled with more than 90 vendors and attractions for hours of enjoyment.
A new festival promoter, Preferred Promotions, secured well-known craftspeople who sold handmade jewelry, pillows, woodwork and other unique items throughout the day. Chamber members, typically local business people, reported a steady flow of traffic at their booths. Many were loyal sponsors who provide the foundation for the popular community event.
In addition to fun shopping, Preferred Promotions also brought in fun food this year. Hungry festival goers lined up at two food trucks, Rosie’s Grilled Cheese and Gorilla, for delicious sandwiches and other fare. The two pickle vendors were magnets—with one reportedly selling out of 300 pounds of product, while ice cream cones from the iconic Mr. Softee truck dotted the aisles. Even some of the dogs from the South Hampton Animal Rescue wanted a lick. The animal rescue’s van was a popular stop for all age groups with “Molly” and “Chief,” rescued from hurricane ravaged Florida, beckoning attention.
The soundtrack of the festival was homegrown: A seamless lineup of entertainment included performances from Strut Your Stuff, the Plainview PAL Cheerleaders and two of the community’s well-regarded martial arts academies, Busto’s and Imperial Taekwondo and Fitness. There was plenty of drama too, with performances by the Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School Drama Cadets and the talented actors from Cultural Arts Playhouse.
“Our chamber’s motto really sums up what we are all about; we are an organization of local business people who live, work and play here,” chamber president Elan Wurtzel said. “Our members work hard to make Plainview-Old Bethpage a special place throughout the year, and the Fall Festival enables us to extend our reach and connect with our entire community for one exceptional day each year.”
Exceptional can also be used to describe the total funds raised at the festival for the chamber’s current “adopted” charity, SNAP (Special Needs Autism Program). Via the chamber’s dedicated raffle, $1,200 will benefit SNAP, which provides enhanced programs for Plainview-Old Bethpage school district children with special needs. Camp Apollo founder George Rosenbaum had the lucky guess to win the chamber’s coin jar portion of the raffle. (In case you’re wondering: $115.27.). Generous local business owners and others donated exciting prizes to the chamber’s spinning wheel game. Especially notable was Coliseum Kitchen owner Ralph Galdorisi, who donated a generous number of free meal cards to fortunate winners.
“The festival committee and the chamber board are grateful for the outpouring of support from the business community; from individuals to our mom and pop establishments to the big companies,” said a grateful Fred Morante, festival chairman. “You can’t have a successful event like this without a cast of many. We appreciate all the support from library director Gretchen Browne and her staff, all the festival committee members and volunteers, and especially from our sponsors who really make it all possible. We can’t wait to do it all again next year.”
Plainview-Old Bethpage Chamber of Commerce Fall Festival Sponsors
• Law Offices of Elan Wurtzel, P.C.
• State Farm Insurance—Ned Marzigliano Agency • ProHEALTH Urgent Care • Str8Smiles Orthodontics—Michael A. Goldman, DMD • Sterling National Bank (Formerly Astoria Bank) • Northwell Health—Plainview and Syosset Hospitals • STAT Health • NYCB—Roslyn Savings Bank
• Seniors Helping Seniors
• Favorite Gift Baskets
• SERVPRO of Hicksville/Plainview
• Tutor Doctor
• Straight Forward Media
• Mid-Island Y JCC
• Attitude Financial Advisors
• Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School • Melani’s Moods • Beechwood Organization • Law Office of Laurel Scarr-Konel • Optix Family Eyecare • Dona Malter Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage • L & M Party Productions • Angel Cepeda for County Legislator • The Family Wellness Center • Yard Smart Lawn Care • Hidden Smiles Orthodontics • Plainview Mailroom • Legislator Arnold Drucker • Mathnasium—Plainview/Hicksville
• Spectacular Eyewear
• Dr. Steven M. Riess Chiropractor
• Somerset Gardens Senior Living
• Regent Investigations Corp
• Mill Brook Travel
• Caring Transitions of Long Island
• ACG Telecom (A service of Atlantic Computer Group, Inc.) • Strut Your Stuff of Plainview • Bethpage Federal Credit Union