Noah Bilello put his hands on his hips, waited for the signal and dove face first into three cups of vanilla ice cream as his family cheered him on. After just over a minute, the 6-year-old raised his sticky hands in the air and claimed victory over 20 children in his age group.
On Saturday, the Town of Babylon held its 18th annual Beach Blast on Overlook Beach. The free event featured live music, face painting, food and an ice cream eating contest.
“It is very planning intensive but it’s a great day,” said Town Councilman Tony Martinez, chairman of the town’s parks and recreation department. “I think we pride ourselves in providing good amenities to our residents in the Town of Babylon. We have spray parks that the families use, playgrounds and beaches. This is a way to put everything together and culminate a great summer.”
Hundreds of children and their families relaxed on the beach as they listened to live music by Steakum Tuesday, County Line and Full House.
“It’s good that the town does this because I did town things like this when I was growing up,” said Cecelia Alongi, 42, of North Babylon. “The kids are having a great time so we’re having a great time.”
The most popular aspect of the event was the ice cream eating contest, where children ages 4 to 13 competed in their age groups. Families screamed and laughed as their children ate as fast as they could to win new board games.
“The competition gets very intense,” said Martinez.
Martinez and several others of the Town of Babylon spent the entire year planning the day.
“It takes a lot of work. In fact starting Monday we will probably start planning for next year’s event,” said Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer. “We started this 18 years ago and it’s grown into a giant block party for the Town of Babylon. We’re always trying to make it better.”
Schaffer said it’s important to have one last summer party for the children of the town before the school year.
“Just the buzz around town leading up to this was tremendous because people really look forward to this as sort of like the unofficial end of summer,” said Schaffer. “This is the last burst of summer that everyone can enjoy together. We like bringing everyone in the town together so people can celebrate their neighbors and look forward to remembering the summer of 2012.”