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St. Anthony’s festival in full swing in East Northport

The Expo Wheel lights up as the sun

The Expo Wheel lights up as the sun sets over the St. Anthony Family Feast and Festival in East Northport. (June 28, 2012) (Credit: Amy Onorato)

As they placed their gray “potato sacks” at the starting line, teens geared up for yet another race down a long, multicolored slide, complete with drops and bumps that could make one’s stomach curl.

That was just one of the attractions Thursday during the second day of the 21st annual St. Anthony’s Family Feast and Festival in East Northport. The festival, which is on Fifth Avenue in East Northport, will be going on until Sunday.

The festival is sponsored by St. Anthony of Padua Church and the Knights of Columbus Father Thomas A. Judge Council No. 6893. All of the rides and game entertainment is provided by Newton Shows, a carnival company based in East Northport.

“This is the first real event of the summer here,” said feast chairman Fred Leonardo, 60. “We like to have the event right when school lets out.”

The field behind St. Anthony’s was converted into a fairground, complete with an array of different rides and carnival games. The strong, sweet smell of funnel cake and barbecue filled the air, beckoning hungry patrons to sit down and grab a bite to eat by the bandstand.

The Sea Monkeys, a local ‘60s cover band, was the musical entertainment for the night and played oldies that echoed through the fair. Every night, a different local band takes the stage and plays several sets.

Volunteers are a big part of the festival's success. For Boy Scout Troop 52 of East Northport, Thursday night involved cleanup duty.

“I figured it would be fun to stay and volunteer for the night,” said Scout Peter Recchia, 12, of Boy Scout Troop 52. “Picking up trash isn’t always fun, but it feels good to help out.”

The festival continues Friday and Saturday night from 6 p.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday from 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Events this weekend include a fireworks display Saturday night and a magic show for children Sunday. For more information, call the Knights of Columbus at 631-262-1891.

As the sun went down over the festival Thursday night, the field lit up and the Expo Wheel glowed in the clear night sky.

“It’s a beautiful night, the weather is perfect and the kids are really enjoying themselves,” Leonardo said, satisfied.

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