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Hundreds rock out at Long Island Country Music Festival


Vic "Roadhouse" Fusco, left, performs with The Roadhouse Band at the Long Island Country Festival in Sayville. (Oct. 8, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Mary Culotta is a die-hard country music fan.

The 41-year-old Oceanside woman learned everything she knows about music and line dancing back in her high school in Queens, where she met her husband.

And on Saturday, the couple rocked it out with hundreds of other fans at the Long Island Country Festival at the Long Island Maritime Museum.

“I like anything that gets me dancing. Country music is from the USA,” Culotta said. “It started here and it’s in everyone’s heart, even if they don’t realize it.”

The event had all of the fixings of a typical Long Island festival, but with a country twist -- pony rides, line dancing, pumpkin picking and southern-style food.

“The weather is obviously complying, it’s really been great. We’ve seen a few hundred people come through the gate since this morning,” said Kathleen Prokesh, 44, of Sayville.

Prokesh is the special event and marketing director at the Long Island Maritime Museum and said that it’s been looking to do a country festival for years. Proceeds from admissions to the festival will go to the museum.

“There’s been a resurgance of popularity with country western music so this was the perfect year to start it.”

The festival-goers enjoyed five New York-based country music bands that headlined the stage for the two-day event including: the DEFiBULATORs, Trailer Radio, Astrograss, SixGun and The Roadhouse Band.

Barbara DeFord, 60, of Patchogue, spent most of the afternoon digging her heels into the museum’s lawn with a big smile on her face.

“It’s great to have country music back on Long Island ... When I grew up Long Island was country,” she said. “There’s something special about the line dancing community and country music. They’re really good people.”


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