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Thousands attend New Hyde Park fair

New Hyde Park Mayor Daniel P. Petruccio said

New Hyde Park Mayor Daniel P. Petruccio said he expected more than 25,000 people at the village's annual street fair. (Sept. 17, 2011) Photo Credit: Amra Radoncic

Chris Johnson tries to come to the annual Street Fair in New Hyde Park every year -- and doesn’t leave without a trip to the zeppole stand.

And Saturday was no exception. The New Hyde Park man was one of thousands who attended the event that shuts down Jericho Turnpike and brings more than 200 vendors to Main Street.

“We usually get 30,000 visitors each year,” said Tony Ciuffo, president of Craft-A-Fair Inc., a company that organizes streets fairs. “We grew from 98 vendors our first year and now we have over 220 vendors.”

Vendors from all over Long Island and the tri-state area sell items ranging from jewelry and scarves to Christmas gift bags and plants.

New Hyde Park’s 16th annual street fair stretched along a mile of Jericho Turnpike, beginning on New Hyde Park Road and ending on Covert Avenue.

“The fair is unique because Main Street is Jericho Turnpike in New Hyde Park -- a state road,” said Mayor Dan Petruccio. “This is a village event, but we incorporate all of the residents of New Hyde Park.”

The mayor expected to see people from all the neighboring towns, villages and hamlets.

For some storeowners like Shai Eapen, business was booming all day long.

“There’s an eclectic walk of life that walks around the fair,” said Eapen, who owns Angelina’s Fireshack and Pizzeria which has been in business since May.

He said he was excited about the fair because it’s a great way for LIers to see the new pizzeria and to find out about his spicy wings that are so hot customers must sign a waiver before attempting to eat one.

“What we did was take something ordinary and make it extraordinary,” Eapen said about the wings.

Another highlight for fair-goers is seeing familiar faces and being a part of the community.

“The fair is the glue that keeps the community together,” said Ciuffo.

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