Plaza AutoFest Delights The Crowd


Spectators enjoyed classic cars, live music, dance performances, culinary treats and children’s activities at the Village of Great Neck Plaza and the Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District (BID) 33rd annual AutoFest and Street Festival on Sunday, Oct. 15.

“The weather did not cooperate in the morning with a light rain in Great Neck. East of Great Neck, where many of our cars come from, the weather was worse and we lost about 30 show cars,” said Jay Corn, Great Neck Plaza BID vice president and AutoFest Committee chairperson. “This was not enough to dampen the enthusiasm. With a clearing forecast, the people came out and we ended up with a great turnout of spectators from all over Long Island, which far exceeded the previous two shows.”

Vintage autos included the ’48 Tucker, the 1933 Auburn Boattale Speedster and a replica of the Batmobile featured in the 1960’s Batman television show.

The popular Meade Brothers musical group had guests tapping their toes and Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender dancing on Middle Neck Road. Carnival games and rides, as well as a petting zoo and pony rides had children happily entertained.

“It was a beautiful day at AutoFest,” said Ruthie Kadosh at Verizon. “So many of our residents and friends from neighboring towns close and far visited the Great Neck car show and celebrated an atmosphere of family, friends and cars. From our esteemed Merchant Marines to car buffs young and old, this favorite day celebrates Great Neck’s traditions of family and creating memories and fun. We thank the mayor and the town for holding this beautiful event, the BID for all of its hard work, the car owners and all of Great Neck for participating and celebrating this day.”

United Capital Corp. has been an AutoFest sponsor since 2001.

“Our company has been based here in Great Neck Plaza since 1992. We believe that it is our corporate responsibility to be involved in the community. It is why we continue to support the AutoFest and Street Festival,” said Michael Lamoretti, the company’s vice president and a Great Neck Plaza BID board member. “The annual event is enjoyed by thousands and we are proud to be a part of it every year. The Great Neck community is also where I live with my wife and three children. We are raising a family here. There is a personal connection for me.”

During the festival, which coincided with the end of National Fire Prevention Week, at Vigilant Fire Company’s booth members discussed the importance of having an escape plan, practicing fire drills at least twice a year and making sure children are aware of their most convenient escape route.

The beautiful day also attracted local politicians to the festival.

“A staple in the Great Neck for 33 years, the AutoFest and Street Festival is another example of how residents join together to celebrate their community,” said Senator Elaine Phillips. “Thank you to the Great Neck Plaza BID for hosting such a wonderful event.”

Classic car collectors enjoyed displaying their beauties for the community as much as attendees appreciated viewing these automobiles up close.

“I had a wonderful time at AutoFest. It was a lot of fun sharing the history of Tucker ’48 #1044 with so many people,” said Howard Kroplick, town historian for Town of North Hempstead. “Congrats to the AutoFest team for a successful, very professional event.”

John Marchese, who recently acquired a replica of the Batmobile used in the 1960’s Batman television show, beamed, “Many people told me that I had the best car there. The reactions always began with a smile. Maybe it’s nostalgic, but I am sure the Auburn, the Tucker, the Shelby Cobra and the Lambo may have something to say about that.”

Read another collector’s story here.

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