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At Long Island Fair, kids and adults flock to animals

John Lipiani and his son Logan, 3, of

John Lipiani and his son Logan, 3, of East Islip, view a cow at the 174th Long Island Fair held on the grounds of the Old Bethpage Village Restoration in Old Bethpage on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. Credit: Steve Pfost

Many representatives of the animal kingdom proved their worth as crowd-pleasers at Saturday’s Long Island Fair, where games, crafts, dances and even chores also did not want for patrons.

“They’re having a blast,” said Jason Benci, 36, of Huntington after his children rode a camel on the first day of the 174th Long Island Fair at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

The Gator Boys, Animal Planet stars who rehome reptiles, began their first Island show with turtles, including a 65-pounder.

“I like it when they have to catch the gator so it can’t hurt someone,” said Patrick Ryan, 12, of Long Beach. Cross-sawing a la lumberjack also won him over. “I just like cutting stuff open.”

Sustenance, from clams to heirloom tomatoes to pumpkin cupcakes, and cool drinks in the hot sunshine, found lots of fans.

Teddy Roosevelt Rough Riders drew generations of horse lovers. Eric Martinez, 14, of Malverne, traced his love for steeds back to having “Black Beauty” read to him.

“I came by it an unconventional way, early on through video games I used to play and movies,” said his friend Logan Cavaliere, 20, of Freeport.

Christina Parlog of Hicksville praised the beautiful and historic setting. And “the games are lots of fun,” said her son, Christian, 9, including “Farmer for the Day.”

Though a novice, Christopher Belanger, 11, of Smithtown, won a blue ribbon in a cornhusking race. “And I made a wooden submarine” in woodworking, he said. His sister Veronica, 9, won second place in crayon drawing for her a rainbow; her sunset in a colored pencil drawing contest came in third.

After viewing the porcupine and ring-tailed lemur, Matt Fisher, 38, of Massapequa, said his children had another destination in mind. “We’re off to see the big pig.”

The fair is open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Oct. 1 and 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for children (5 to 12) and seniors 60 and up. Children under 5 and active military personnel are free.


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