Roller coasters, carnival games, magic shows — and the occasional monkey race — were on display Saturday at the 15th annual Brookhaven Fair in Farmingville.
The fair opened Friday night at The Pennysaver Amphitheater at Bald Hill, and runs for four weekends through June 19.
The event kicked off Memorial Day weekend for many families, offering $1 admission on Fridays until 9 p.m., $8 regular admission, or $4 per person with a two-for-one coupon from the fair’s website, brookhavenfair.com.
Whether it’s the Banana Derby — a race featuring monkeys as jockeys riding rescue dogs — or stunt motorcyclists in a cage, organizers said the fair has something for everyone to enjoy.
Liz Connolly Garside, 52, of Mastic Beach brought her 13-year-old son Liam and two of his friends to the fair — and they went straight for the biggest roller coaster they could find.
“I love for them to have a good time,” she said. “I took the time off work to spend some time with my boy.”
The fair was established to give Long Island families an economical way to spend time together, said Brian Schuman, the owner of Bethpage-based Fair Production, which puts on the event.
“The idea was to bring our version of Disney World to people who couldn’t afford to go,” he said. “It was like a staycation before that word was invented.”
This year families arriving at the fair will find a wishing well at the entrance. Visitors are invited to write down a simple wish and drop it — or a donation — into the well. At the end of the fair, officials will grant as many wishes as possible with the donations received.
The well was conceived in memory of Schuman’s daughter, Jordan Schuman, who died Dec. 23 in a car crash in South Carolina.
The 22-year-old television news reporter spent much of her childhood at the fairgrounds with her father, who said he founded the Jordan Schuman Foundation for Kindness to “continue her legacy” of helping others.
Brian Schuman said the direction and breadth of the foundation was still being developed.
“She was all about spreading the kindness,” he said. “Simple gestures, one at a time. We’re going to help people one at a time, too.”