By Connor Beach
The eighth annual Huntington Awareness Day Unity in the Community Day parade and fair kicked off on Saturday as hundreds of students and community members took to the streets to celebrate diversity and solidarity in Huntington.
Co-chaired by Dolores Thompson and South Huntington Superintendent Dr. David Bennardo, the event began with a parade from HuntingtonHigh School up Oakwood Road to StimsonMiddle School in Huntington Station.
Greenlawn American Legion Post 1244 provided the color guard as marching bands, cheerleaders and fire trucks created an exciting atmosphere for the parade.
State, county and town officials joined representatives from the Elwood, Harborfields, Huntington, Northport and South Huntington school districts, scouts, service organizations, law enforcement representatives, religious groups, and not-for-profits from across the town
What began as a day to raise awareness for the necessary revitalization of Huntington Station has expanded to include groups from across the Town of Huntington.
Each year the school districts present awards to honorees who displayed outstanding commitment to the local community.
Imam Ibrahim Ahmad, of Masjid Noor in Huntington, received the Excellence in Community Awareness.
Jessica Kennedy, Rosario Lorenza and Kristin Orig, teachers from Elwood, Huntington and Northport, respectively, were honored with Excellence in Education award.
Walt Whitman High School graduate Julio Taku received the Excellence in Community Leadership award, and Harborfields High School student Christina Amari was honored for her Excellence in Student Leadership.
After the awards ceremony, community members and residents stayed late into the afternoon to enjoy the company of their neighbors and the rides at the fair.