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Ronkonkoma festival focuses on history

Local vendor Barrie Allen sells her collection of

Local vendor Barrie Allen sells her collection of gourmet style food at the Ronkonkoma Civic Organization Fall Festival. (Sept. 24, 2011) Photo Credit: Mike Cusanelli

East Northport resident Rose Kilmer keeps coming back to the Ronkonkoma Civic Organization’s Fall Festival.

“I love this show. I love what they try to do here,” said Kilmer, as she sat outside of her candle booth. “They’re trying to better their community, which is very important.”

Now in its eighth year, the Ronkonkoma Civic Organization hosts the annual Fall Festival at Ronkonkoma County Park. The event features children’s games, a petting zoo, local vendors and serves as a way for the Ronkonkoma Historical Society to educate visitors about the town’s past.

“It’s a community oriented event – we try to have something for everyone,” said George Shram, the president of the Ronkonkoma Civic Organization.

Shram and other volunteers have spent years working with the Town of Brookhaven and the historical society to promote the historical significance of the town and to foster a close-knit community.

The festival served as the unveiling to the newly renovated Fitz-Greene Hallock Homestead, the home of a former Ronkonkoma entrepreneur and his family. Built in 1888, the homestead was dedicated to the Ronkonkoma Historical Society in 1995, and has become a part of the town’s history as a lakeside resort for the rich and famous in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Local residents spent the day touring the Fitz-Greene-Hallock Homestead, shopping and visiting with local politicians. Others fished in the lake and lounged by the beach with their pets.

“I love to take my kids to the fairs because there’s always something for everyone to do,” said Krista Olyzewski, 26, of Ronkonkoma.

Shram and the rest of the civic organization continue to work hard to show Ronkonkoma residents the beauty of their town and the opportunities it holds for young people.

Shram says his goal is to “keep people involved with the past and the future”.

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