Father’s Day will be over, but there’s still a chance to celebrate dear old dad, treat him to some of his favorite things and make him your hero all over again at the first-ever Dadfest June 23 at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale.
The old man can tackle an obstacle course geared to his special talents, tap his toes and sip a brew to classic rock or snag an Instagramable moment with a New York sports legend. To add to the enjoyment, most of Dadfest’s attractions are free.
Dadfest was conceived to put Father’s Day on a more equal status with Mother’s Day, says Eric Wellman, program director at Manhattan-based classic rock station Q104.3 FM, which is organizing the event. Although Dadfests are held annually in cities across the United States, including Albany, this is the first celebration of its kind on Long Island, says station spokesman Marc Siegel.
Wellman says it’s “a day for Dads to have a little fun and get a little recognition for all the things they do all the time but don’t get credit for.”
Here are five ways to make Dad’s day at Dadfest:
Root for him
Can your dad beat the clock in a contest with other dads? He’ll have his chance to shine in the Ultimate Dad Skills Obstacle Course on the Coliseum’s new turf field. Events include unpacking and carrying an SUV trunk full of grocery bags, driving a golf cart and sinking a putt, and building a burger with plastic pieces — then balancing it on a spatula. Heats will be held throughout the day. The Dadfest Champion wins $1,000 worth of electronics from P.C. Richard & Son.
Relax with him
Treat Dad to a drink and a snack at Dadfest’s outdoor beer garden, a concrete patio area lined with picnic tables and Adirondack and beanbag chairs. Eight beers will be on tap, including imports such as Corona, Corona Light and Modelo, as well as more exotic brews Sculpin IPA by the San Diego-based Ballast Point brewery and Coney Island Brewing Company Mermaid Pilsner. Beers will cost $12.50 to $15.50 a pint. Food trucks will be selling Italian sausages and other treats.
Rock out together
Sing along with Dad to Southern rock’s greatest hits played by Long Island-based cover artists The Bourbon Stills Band. The group, which was formed in Southern rock’s mid-1970s heyday, has opened concerts for The Marshall Tucker Band at The Paramount in Huntington and also plays with Blues Traveler, Blue Oyster Cult and other major acts, Wellman says. Its covers of Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd should be a nostalgic blast from the past.
Hang out with sports greats
Three national sports figures and one mascot are expected to make Dadfest appearances. Dad can talk football with Wesley Walker, the wide receiver and two-time Pro Bowler for the New York Jets from 1977 to 1989 or they can ask Mookie Wilson, the New York Mets outfielder, about that game-changing grounder he hit to clinch the 1986 World Series championship. Local celebrity sportscaster Howie Rose of Roslyn and Mets mascot Mr. Met are also expected to be on hand. Bring a baseball, football or other memorabilia for autographs and a smartphone for that social media moment with Dad.
Let him watch the kids play
Dadfest offers fun and competition for kids and grandkids, too. Youngsters can swing a bat at the Mets T-ball challenge, try their hand at the Long Island Nets basketball free-throw competition or attempt to slam a puck past the goalie at a New York Islanders slap-shot competition. The New York Jets will also be there, setting up two gameday stadium attractions: a quarterback challenge and punt/pass cannon.
WHEN | WHERE Noon to 5 p.m. June 23 in the outdoor plaza at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale
INFO Free, including parking; 516-231-4848, q1043.iheart.com/featured/dad-fest