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32nd annual Sayville Summerfest draws thousands
Using a brush to smear paint across a mini canvas, 4-year-old Mason Mandaro turned around and said, “It’s a train!” in front of Five Points Cafe on Main Street Saturday.
His mother, Nicole Larcy, brought him to the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce’s 32nd annual Sayville Summerfest, just as her parents did when she was his age.
“I’m a huge fan of this. The summer really is the greatest season for Sayville,” said Larcy, 28, of Sayville. “I like the variety of stands. It’s all hands-on, eclectic and you can’t beat free.”
The festival, which is spread out over Main Street, North Main Street, South Main Street, Gillette Avenue and the surrounding parks, will continue until 10 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. There is a schedule of events on the Chamber of Commerce’s website.
Simultaneous concerts took over the four stages at the festival, some flash mob dance performances surprised passers-by and the international food festival tantalized taste buds. The was also a 4-mile run at 10 a.m. at the Common Ground.
On Sunday, there will be more live music, planes flying overhead from Bayport Aerodrome at noon and a classic car show on Main Street.
Barbara Whitbread, marketing director for the Chamber of Commerce, expects a turnout of 200,000 people between Friday and Sunday.
“It’s a community event that we provide every year and is something that the town looks forward to and is one of the biggest fundraisers for the chamber to fund beautification projects and scholarships,” said Whitbread, who also owns Seafarer Gift Shop on South Main Street. “They look forward to it every year. It’s quite the event and puts Sayville on the map.”
Chamber of Commerce President Bill Etts said the event will raise $50,000 or more.
Chris Stier, 28, and his grandfather Thomas Taravella, 72, set up a table along Gillette Avenue selling handmade motorcycles, boats, planes, tractor trailers, bicycles and trains made out of recycled beer, soda and energy drink cans.
“I’m a people person. I love joking around with the people here,” said Taravella, of East Meadow. “It takes me one to two hours to make one plane and I use 12 cans broken down into 36 parts. Some years, we do really well at the festival and some we don’t, but we still come back.”
Sharon Hendershot worked all day at the midway and has enjoyed coming back year after year to set up the rides and make sure every kid wins something when playing the games.
“It’s a multi-family event and it all started with just a couple vendors on Main Street and has grown to what you see now,” said Hendershot, of Bohemia. “Main Street in Sayville, to me, is one of the last streets with quaint shops and this festival really has something for everybody.”