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Farmingdale celebrates first downtown music festival

Jessica Burke of Farmingville dances with a hula

Jessica Burke of Farmingville dances with a hula hoop while the band Soundswell performs during the first Farmingdale music festival, which included 23 music acts on three stages on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. Credit: Steve Pfost

Midafternoon rain thinned the crowds at Farmingdale's inaugural downtown music festival Saturday, but many people, taking shelter under shop awnings, stayed to hear some rock and blues.

Bob Borman, 63, of Huntington, made the free, end-of-summer event part of his violin- and cello-playing son's 12th birthday celebration.

"If it stops raining, there will be local people who come out in droves," he said.

Music lovers shouldn't have to brave the weather Sunday. Sun and mild temperatures are in the forecast.

The village closed a two-block stretch of Main Street for the two-day event, with more than 20 bands and other entertainers performing on three stages.

"I listened to some of the bands on the Internet, so I got a good idea of when to come," said Sharon Azizollahoff of Farmingdale, who was accompanied by her husband, Joe.

Organizers hope the event showcases Farmingdale's planned $100 million makeover, which is adding dozens of new apartments and thousands of square feet of retail space.

Under brightly colored tents, local vendors offered an array of goods and crafts, including refrigerator magnets made out of bottle caps.

Leslie Ellison of East Northport, who enjoyed the displays, wasn't bothered by the dearth of sunshine. "I just like being outdoors, that's the key," she said.

The early crowd -- the festival kicked off at 1 p.m., a couple of hours before the rain began -- was estimated at a few thousand people.

"I'm actually surprised we have as much of a crowd as we do, considering the weather," said Joann Edling, 57, a Farmingdale building inspector.

Observing the popularity of strolling while munching, she added: "Farmingdale likes to eat."

A couple of business owners were disappointed their Main Street shops were outside the festival boundaries.

That includes Mayor Ralph Ekstrand's drugstore, but he predicted next year's event would be larger.

"By doing concerts and events, people will see how our downtown has become revitalized," he said.

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