Long Islanders News Staff
With the sun shining brightly on warm fall days, thousands of people descended on Hecksher Park in Huntington to take part in the 22nd Annual Long Island Fall Festival this weekend.
The event, billed as the largest of its kind in the Northeast, was hosted by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Huntington and included carnival rides, live music, games, food and hundreds of vendors of all stripes.
On Sunday afternoon, the sidewalks of Main Street filled up for the Long Island Columbus Day Parade, sponsored by the Order of the Sons of Italy in America and the Town of Huntington.
For red-headed siblings Ryan and Laura Sheehan, of Huntington, it was all about the rides.
“That was awesome!” cheered Laura, 6, as she exited the spinning Paratroopers ride with Ryan, 8, on Saturday.
Ditto for festival first-timer Yovanna Camargo, 35, of Huntington, who attended with sons, David, 14, and 2-year-old Nicolas.
“And the food, of course,” added Camargo, as she bit into a gyro wrap while David chomped into a turkey leg and Nicolas devoured sweet corn.
As she watched her son Ben, 5, beam down the Super Slide, Kim Bode, 39, of East Northport, said has attended the festival for the past 10 years, and that her favorite parts were the vendors and how the festival brings the “community together.
Brayden Tandy, 6, and sister Brianna, 7, of Babylon, enjoyed the crafts area, taking spoons into colored sand to create their own sand art.
Mom Janet Tandy, whose family has been going to the festival “for years,” said she loves “the family fun” it offers.
“I really love the music, and the food,” said Kenny Weiss, 57, of Valley Stream, leaning on a wooden dock railing to watch the turtles and fish swim in the pond. “The Thompson Gunners songs that I heard were fantastic.”
Weiss, a respiratory therapist, says that Long Island festivals, like the Fall Festival at Heckscher Park, are what make the Island great, and that he looks forward to them every year.
“Today is just a beautiful day here at the festival,” Weiss said. “It’s just a beautiful time all around.”