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St. John’s of Lattingtown’s 60th Fall Fair celebrates community

Charlotte Decker, 2, from Glen Cove, casts a

Charlotte Decker, 2, from Glen Cove, casts a spell on Donna George, 62, from Hicksville, who took on the role of professor Minerva McGonagall during St. John's of Lattingtown's 60th annual Fall Fair. This year's theme for the festival was the magical world of Harry Potter. (Sept. 8, 2012) Credit: Jessica Stallone

With the eyes of a child, those of wonder and imagination, 2-year-old Charlotte Decker looked up at the woman wearing a long dark robe, a black pointed hat and oval glasses, pointed at the sky and asked her, in a soft and gentle voice, to fly.

“This broom doesn’t work in the rain,” said Donna George, a member of St. John’s of Lattingtown Episcopal Church for 27 years. “Good thing Mr. Ollivander is going to give me a ride home.”

The 62-year-old woman from Hicksville was dressed as professor Minerva McGonagall for St. John’s of Lattingtown’s 60th annual Fall Fair because this year’s theme was the magical world of Harry Potter.

Despite the rain, hundreds gathered on Saturday for the festival, dubbed the “Diamond Jubilee Country Fair,” to enjoy food, music and friends.

Parish members also sold donated items such as holiday decorations and children’s toys under tents that stretched across the lawn behind the church.

“They offer a lot of things to do and see. It’s attractive to a lot of people,” said Teresa Nielsen, of Glen Cove, as she perused through the children’s tent.

Church member Carlyle Dunaway, of Mill Neck, looked at the rain as a silver lining.

“One of the best things about selling in the rain is everyone is buying the umbrellas and there are people under the tents buying,” he said.

The Rev. Simon Foster, pastor at St. John’s of Lattingtown, said about half of the proceeds will be donated to local outreach programs, such as the Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club and the Glen Cove homeless shelter.

Foster has a special relationship with the people in his community. Through weddings, communions and other gatherings, he has formed close bonds with the residents of Lattingtown.

“One of the lovely things is you really become a part of the community,” Foster said.

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