Street Festival And AutoFest Cruise Into The Plaza

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Performances and contests featuring local children will bring new community involvement

Car enthusiasts can view more than 60 classic and antique roadsters and sports cars at the festival. (Photo by Christina Claus)

The Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District (BID), in cooperation with the Village of Great Neck Plaza, will hold the 34th annual Street Festival and AutoFest on Middle Neck Road on Sunday, Oct. 21, from 12 to 5 p.m., with a rain date of Sunday, Oct. 28.

Presented by United Capital Corporation with supporting sponsorship from Metropolitan Commercial Bank, classic and antique cars will line the street, as a priceless 1908 Rolls Royce will be featured. Inspired by the talented children in the Great Neck community, this year’s entertainment will also include two stages for musical and dance performances by local kids, a karaoke contest for 11 to 18 year olds with cash prizes for the top three performers and a display of more than 50 pieces of artworks from young Great Neck artists.

The festival will have a super slide, rock-climbing wall, petting zoo and pony rides for little ones. (Photo by Sheri ArbitalJacoby)

“We changed the format,” explained Jay Corn, vice president and festival chairperson of the Great Neck Plaza BID. “While we’ll still have some of the attractions we’ve had in the past, we’re looking to showcase the musical and artistic talent of our community’s children this year and offer fun games that will offer opportunities for the kids to win prizes.”

The festival will still have rides geared toward younger children, such as a rock-climbing wall and super slide, along with a petting zoo and pony rides. New this year, sports-themed contests will include a miniature golf hole-in-one competition, batting contest, football-throwing accuracy, basketball-foul shooting and corn-toss shooting for prizes, with monetary rewards to further engage the community. The top three high scorers of the day for each game in two age groups will be called back at 4:15 p.m. to compete in championship rounds. To ensure a fair playing field, the competitors will split into two groups: 14 and younger and 15 to 18.

The Street Festival and AutoFest will feature fun for the whole family, including a display of more than 60 classic and antique roadsters and sports cars. (Photo by Reba Putorti)

“This year, we wanted to make the festival more community oriented,” noted Ron Edelson, executive director of the BID. “We wanted to create an event that would give the Great Neck community more reasons to come out and enjoy a festive day with family and friends. Building our entertainment around the awesome talent of the youth in this community seemed to be the perfect way to reenergize the festival. What we are especially happy about is that we will have youth from almost every segment of the diverse population that now comprises the Great Neck peninsula.”

Performances will run from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on stages located at both ends of Bond Street. Members’ children from the Great Neck Chinese Association and the Sephardic Heritage Alliance Inc., along with students from To the Pointe!—Katya’s School of Dance, Great Neck School of Dance, Gold Coast Arts Center, Silverstein Hebrew Academy, Great Neck Music Conservatory, ConfiDanZe and A+ Karate Studio will be featured.

(Photo by Christina Claus)

Artwork will be exhibited from the creative imaginations of elementary artists in the Great Neck Public Schools and Silverstein Hebrew Academy.

“We offered clubs and parent groups from all the public and private schools an opportunity to have displays or tables to showcase and educate the community about their activities,” said Edelson. “We are starting this year and hopefully, with success, will build each year, creating opportunities to showcase adult and senior talent in our community.”

Another highlight this year will be Great Neck South’s robotics team. John Motchkavitch, known to most in the community as Motch, will bring his award-winning robotics team to demonstrate the team’s amazing creations and has intimated that the team’s prized four-wheel, street-worthy racing car will also be in attendance.

This year’s featured car will be a priceless 1908 Rolls Royce.

In addition to the classic Rolls Royce, the Silver Ghost that was recently awarded Best in Show at the 2018 Antique Automobile Club of America Spring Meet and a 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 will be on display, along with more than 60 other classic and antique roadsters and sports cars.

“The more we can engage our community—children, parents, empty nesters and our senior citizens—the more community spirit is generated,” added Corn. “In the end, that is good for everyone.”

For more information, visit www.shopgreatneck.com/streetfestival or call 516-829-1301.

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Sheri ArbitalJacoby brings more than three decades of publishing experience at national magazines to her position as editor of the Great Neck Record. She also writes decorating, travel, food and green articles for Long Island Weekly and Anton Media Group's special sections.

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