Street Festival Brings New Life To Village

Carnival attendees enjoyed the many rides, including the Ferris wheel. (Photos by Britney Trachtenberg)

To celebrate the start of the summer, the Village Green was recently home for an entire weekend to a completely revamped street fair and music festival, featuring popular tribute bands, karaoke, local vendors selling food and crafts, rides—including a Ferris wheel—and a Beer Garden provided by the Baker Hill Tavern.

The Great Neck Chinese Association kicked off the festivities on Saturday at 6 p.m. by sharing traditional Chinese music and dances. Performances followed with Kindred Soul playing classic rock and roll, Young Rochelles presenting pop and Arlene’s World Famous Live Rock N Roll Karaoke bringing up audience members to sing with them until 9 p.m.

Booths sold traditional carnival food, including funnel cakes.

There was no shortage of talent at the fair. On Sunday, music was provided by more Long Island bands, including Baldie performing David Bowie tunes, 14-year-old singer and songwriter Simone Lipkin with originals, SundayGirl NYC playing Blondie classics, NYC’s Finest playing The Police, Straight to Hell performing The Clash and the all-girls Rockaway B*tch playing Ramones music.

Village of Great Neck Deputy Mayor Bart Sobel has been tasked with planning the street fair for the past few years, which was presented by the Village of Great Neck in cooperation with the Great Neck Park District.

Vendors sold a wide variety of goods.

After the once-successful Mother’s Day crafts fair began losing steam, he and former village clerk Joe Gill sought to put life back into the event.

Gill and Sobel started doing things differently in 2017, when they had the idea to add a mobile stage, local bands and Coney Island side-slow performer Adam The Real Man as an emcee.

Children enjoyed seeing the animals at the petting zoo.

“It was a good start, but we needed to do more,” said Sobel of the first event. “We didn’t have much time to publicize it, yet we still had a great turnout.”

Sobel had much more time to publicize the event this year.

“We’ve chosen acts and even some food vendors that come with their own following,” he said.

Due to scheduling conflicts, this event took place over Father’s Day weekend, a time Sobel hoped would bring in more people and great weather. He thought correctly. The event was well attended and enjoyed by people of all ages.

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