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Huntington's perennial festival in full bloom

Aidan Green, 7, of Stony Brook, checks his

Aidan Green, 7, of Stony Brook, checks his face painting in a mirror at the Huntington Tulip Festival. (May 6, 2012) Credit: Erin Geismar

With three younger siblings to watch and nearly 50 booths offering free activities at the Huntington Tulip Festival on Sunday, 10-year-old Nyomi Sutherland was looking forward to sitting still for a little while.

While Nyomi’s mother was working one of the booths during the festival, Nyomi - under the eye of a friend’s mother - was watching her siblings, Leah, 1, Ethan, 3, and Isaiah, 7.

She sat cross-legged on the grass in front of Heckscher Park’s Chapin Rainbow Stage eagerly awaiting the next stage show to start.

“That’ll keep her occupied,” she said about her baby sister. “And then I can do the other things I need to do - watch my brothers.”

Thousands came from around Long Island on Sunday to attend the 12th Annual Huntington Tulip Festival at the park.

The spring celebration, centered around the blooming of the more than 20,000 tulips dotting the park’s lawn, featured activities for children, performances on the Chapin Rainbow Stage and a children’s parade.

The Heckscher Museum of Art was also open and offering free entry for the day.

John Coraor, director of cultural affairs for the Town of Huntington, said the event draws between 4,000 and 5,000 people and is geared toward families.

“We always like to see the festival well-attended,” he said. “But we pride ourselves on keeping a small, intimate, family-friendly experience.”

Mary Saunders, of Huntington, brought her 8-year-old daugther Kyra to the festival and spread out a picnic on the lawn in front of the stage while they waited for a show to start.

“We came last year, too,” she said. “There’s so much to do. We love the arts and crafts and the shows.”

Caroline Flynn, 22, of Northport, said the festival has become an annual tradition for her and the girls she babysits, Julia Malich, 10, her sister Marley, 3, also of Northport, and Jackie Nobile, 9, of Commack.

“From the flower planting to the coloring, the kids just have a ball. We don’t miss it,” Flynn said. “And the tulips, of course. That’s why I come.”


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