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Carnival

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The Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Port Jefferson celebrated its 57th Port Jefferson Greek Festival from Aug. 23 to 26. This year’s event featured carnival rides, traditional dance performances, live music, games and culinary delights.

WHAT A RIDE! 

Elisa Hendrey of Mount Sinai visited the Heritage Park’s annual Fling into Spring Carnival last Sunday and captured this stunning image. She writes, ‘[It seems as if] the ride, called Pharaoh’s Fury, is sailing up into the deep blue sky. A huge crowd turned out to enjoy the event and the warm weather.’

Send your Photo of the Week to leisure@tbrnewspapers.com.

Hundreds headed to Heritage Park in Mount Sinai April 20-22 for the annual Fling Into Spring carnival.

As the sunshine and warmer temperatures washed over the park, kids smiled, rode rides, ate ice cream and played games with excitement throughout the weekend.

The money raised from the event helps nonprofit Heritage Trust fund other events throughout the year. The park is currently raising money for a splash pad. A country line dancing fundraising event is scheduled for April 26 at the Heritage Center from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

By Kevin Redding

From Aug. 24 to 27, the grounds at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Port Jefferson were filled with residents shouting “Opa!”

Vendors were selling Greek art and jewelry, there were carnival rides, happy faces and a whole lot of food for the 56th annual Greek Festival.

Long Islanders chowed down on gyros, moussaka, souvlaki and spanakopita while kids took to the merry-go-round and giant slide. Guided tours of the church and grand raffle prizes were available throughout the weekend and Greek music from the festival could be heard for miles.

Families and community residents gathered in East Northport this past weekend to enjoy some summer fun at the East Northport Firemen’s Fair. Participants enjoyed carnival rides, food, live music and more.

Heritage Center. File photo

This year, two of Heritage Park’s primary fundraisers, the SummerFest Concert and Fall Into Fun Carnival, were severely impacted by weather. Because of this, the Heritage Trust Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has an urgent appeal to close the gap in its budget.

Currently, the budget shortfall is $25,000, and Heritage Trust is in need of help to be able to continue to maintain the Heritage Park and Heritage Center, and offer its community events and programs.

Heritage Trust remains dedicated to maintaining all it has to offer.

Upcoming are the Halloween Festival, Parade of American Flags, Christmas tree and menorah lightings and a breakfast with Santa.

New and exciting things are also happening at the park, including a putting green with a water feature being installed adjacent to the walking path near The Shack, and an amphitheater, ice skating rink and splash pad, as well as repairs to the playground, are also in the works.

To make a tax-deductible contribution and help close the gap, send donations to Heritage Trust, 633 Mount Sinai Coram Road, Mount Sinai, NY 11766 or visit www.msheritagetrust.org and click on donations.

The fourth day was a charm for the Heritage Trust Center’s carnival. After three days of wet and windy weather, residents of Miller Place, Mount Sinai and neighboring communities finally gathered at Heritage Park to enjoy the fourth and final day of the center’s seventh annual carnival on Sunday, Oct. 4.

Children and adults alike enjoyed rides like Pharaoh’s Fury, Tornado, the Swinger and others, and could choose between savory foods and sweet surprises like zeppole and deep fried Oreos, Greek food and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. Those who stayed into the evening hours were also treated to fireworks, which were pushed from Friday to Sunday.

A scene from last year’s Long Island Fall Festival. File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Come Oct. 9, Heckscher Park in Huntington will transform into a hub of fall festivity.

The 22nd annual Long Island Fall Festival, which will run until Oct. 12, throughout Columbus Day weekend, will fill the park with fun, featuring vendors, music, food and more. The event is hosted by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and Huntington Town.

According to the festival’s website, “This community event highlights the best Huntington has to offer — from its civic-minded businesses, cultural institutions and service organizations, to its restaurants, pubs and retailers.”

More than 300 craft, promotional, retail and non-for-profit vendors will line Prime and Madison streets, adjacent to Heckscher Park, as well as within the grounds of the park.

A scene from last year’s Long Island Fall Festival. File photo by Victoria Espinoza
A scene from last year’s Long Island Fall Festival. File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Much like previous years, the festival will have a number of returning vendors, but there will be some new faces, according to Ellen O’Brien, executive director of the chamber. Those include vendors who make birdhouses, sea glass jewelry and more. And for the first time in many years, the festival will feature a farmers’ market.

“It’s always changing,” she said in an August phone interview. “That’s what makes it so exciting.”

Some of the main attractions include four stages of live entertainment, a beer and wine tent, a world-class carnival, two international food courts, a Sunday main stage dedicated to youth talent and more.

O’Brien said that tens of thousands of people frequent the fall festival each day. She also said she’s heard that the festival’s grossed 200,000 park-goers in one weekend.

The chamber’s always on the hunt for new vendors, but space does fill up fast. People learn about the festival through different venues, O’Brien said.

“I think it’s word-of-mouth,” she said. “I think it’s got a mind of its own at this point.”

Those interested in attending the festival can take the Long Island Rail Road to Huntington. There’s free parking at the LIRR train station during that weekend, and round-trip shuttles will run all day, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., for $1, on Saturday and Sunday, she said.

The festival begins Friday, Oct. 9, 5 to 9 p.m., and that night will feature a carnival, food court and music on stage. The fun will continue Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and that day will include vendors, music and shows, a food court and a carnival.

The same activities will be available the following day, Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. And Monday, the festival wraps up from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information and to get involved in this year’s festival, call (631) 423-6100 or visit www.lifallfestival.com.

Long Islanders enjoyed food, rides and games at the Greek Festival in Port Jefferson Station, an annual event hosted by the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption.

The festival ran from Aug. 20 to Aug. 23. Before finding their way to the food, rides and games, people who attended the four-day event could pick up raffle tickets for Sunday’s raffle drawing, buy toys and jewelry and other things from the vendors. Those who entered the drawing could win prizes like a car, various electronics and cash, among other prizes. Visitors could dance or watch a group of dancers perform several traditional Greek dances and many viewed the 30-minute fireworks display on two of the festival evenings before returning to their games and rides or going home for the night.

The Rythmos Hellenic Dance Group from the Greek Orthodox School in Port Jefferson Station performs at a previous Greek Festival. File photo

Now in its 40th year, the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, 430 Sheep Pasture Rd., Port Jefferson Station, will hold its annual festival tonight, Aug. 20, from 5 to 10 p.m., Aug. 21 from 5 to 11 p.m., Aug. 22 from 1 to 11 p.m. and Aug. 23 from 1 to 10 p.m. Fireworks will be held on Aug. 21 and 22 at 9:30 p.m.

The event will feature carnival rides, face painting, games, live music by the band Aegean Connection, traditional Hellenic dance performances and culinary delights.

Authentic mouth-watering foods such as gyros, moussaka, tiropita, souvlaki and spanakopita will be served up, along with sweet desserts such as melomakarona, galaktoboureko, kourabiedes, koulourakia, baklava and loukoumades, a fried dough pastry favorite.

Guided tours of the church will be available throughout the day, and vendors will be offering Greek art, jewelry, souvenirs, icons and much more.

One of the main attractions at the festival is the over-the-top sweepstakes that the church holds. This year 315 prizes will be awarded. Prizes range from cars — a 2016 Mercedes Benz GLK 4Matic is first prize — to a 13-foot Boston Whaler 130 SS 40 HP, cash prizes, TVs, iPods, tablets, Mets tickets, gift cards and more. Tickets for the sweepstakes are $100 each, limited to 4,999 tickets — meaning that one out of 16 will win a prize. The drawing will be held on Aug. 23 beginning at 7 p.m.

Free shuttle buses will pick up festival attendees from Ward Melville High School, Earl L. Vandermeulen High School, Port Jefferson Ferry and the Long Island Rail Road station to transport them to festival grounds, making parking at this popular event a breeze. Admission to the festival is $2 per person, children under 12 free. For more information, call the church office at 631-473-0894 or visit www.portjeffgreekfest.com.

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