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Ransom Beach plays host to Waterside Festival

Jace Vasquez, 2, of Setauket, feds a miniature

Jace Vasquez, 2, of Setauket, feds a miniature horse at the petting zoo set up during the Waterside Festival in Bayville. (Sept. 15, 2012) Credit: Jessica Stallone

Just beyond the rows of nautical blue, white and tan tents that lined Ransom Beach, the Long Island Sound stretched to the distant sunlit horizon.

The sound of crashing waves against the soft North Shore beach was faintly detectable as hundreds enjoyed the kickoff of the annual Waterside Festival.

“On a day like today, there’s no better place to be,” said Vinny Moscato, 55, president of the Bayville Chamber of Commerce.

Bayville’s annual Waterside Festival began Saturday morning and will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, which promises to have just as much food and live music. This is the fourth year the Bayville Chamber of Commerce is running the event and proceeds will go toward chamber programs, such as scholarships and its annual “Breakfast with Santa” event.

The festival has raised $1,000 to $1,500 in previous years, said Bayville Chamber of Commerce treasurer Richard Valicenti.

“This weekend we plan on doing very well,” said Valicenti, 56, of Locust Valley.

There are more than 50 vendors registered for this year’s festival selling everything from handmade African instruments to an assortment of crafted jewelry. Some of the new attractions for kids at this year’s festival include carnival games and a petting zoo.

“We try to do a different family thing each week and we’ve never been to the North Shore, so we thought we’d give it a shot,” said Michelle Clune, 41, of Blue Point, as she looked through an assortment of drums crafted by Sekou Berete of Queens.

The Bayville Public Library was on hand selling used books, raffling off an Amazon Kindle and promoting programs available at the library.

“We’re here to interact with all of the community groups of Bayville,” said Pat Pileggi, member of the Bayville Public Library Board of Trustees.

Local and neighboring community members alike showed up in support of Bayville, a village that is 1.5 square miles in size and home to slightly more than 6,000 residents.

“We’re looking to make Bayville strong,” said Moscato. “I love this town and I want to take care of it.”

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