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Hoyt Farm

The Town of Smithtown Anti-Bias Task Force and Youth Bureau sponsored a family-friendly Pride Month Celebration Picnic at Hoyt Farm in Commack on June 28.

In addition to the beautiful facilities at Hoyt Farm, many fun and activities were planned for young people, including professional face painting and a slew of games. Partner organizations —  the Smithtown Library, the LGBT Network, Free Mom Hugs, and Keep It Kind Smithtown — also participated in the celebration.

Duck Donuts in Hauppauge donated to the picnic, while Musicology Performance Center provided musical entertainment.

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Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve hosted its 16th annual Halloweekend on Saturday, Oct. 16, and Sunday, Oct. 17. The sold out event attracted roughly 1200 residents, between both days.

Families enjoyed touring the preserve and playing games, going on hay rides, picking pumpkin, face painting, drinking hot apple cider and piping hot chocolate and more.

“I am so grateful for the team at Hoyt Farm and our Parks Department,” Town of Smithtown Superintendent Ed Wehrheim (R) said. “This is one of those events I refuse to miss every year. My grandkids have the time of their lives … and honestly so do I. Jeff, Sheryl, Kate, Dominick and the team at Hoyt Farm put so much passion and thoughtfulness into planning and orchestrating this event. It is truly indicative of how much they all love what they do and the community they do it for.”

The staff enjoyed preparing for the annual festival, according to Jeff Gurmin, director of Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve.

“We love to be able to transform Hoyt Farm from one of Smithtown’s hidden gems into a timeless world of dreams and fantasies,” Gurmin said.

Photo from Pixabay

The Town of Smithtown Administration and the Recreation Department kicked off its annual Summer Concert Season at Long Beach and Hoyt Farm over the weekend. On Friday nights, residents can enjoy live music at Long Beach in Nissequogue beginning at 7 p.m. On Sundays, residents can head over to Hoyt Farm in Commack for another fantastic evening of music starting at 7 Pp.m. The Summer concert series features a vast selection of musical genres from doo wop and classic rock, to billboard hits from some of the best tribute bands on the Island.

“We’re so grateful and thrilled to present this year’s Summer concert series at Hoyt Farm and Long Beach. These concerts are so much more than just a fun night out. They are a celebration; representing all that is unique within our great community and all we have to be thankful for. So mark your calendars, load up the car with beach chairs, and a blanket, bring the whole family down and enjoy the festivities this Summer.” – Supervisor Ed Wehrheim

The Town sponsored concerts are free for Smithtown Residents. A Town parking sticker or proof of residency is required upon entering Long Beach and Hoyt Farm.

Concert schedules are as follows:

Long Beach: Fridays at 7 p.m.

Friday, June 25th-          Cold Spring Harbor Band (Billy Joel Tribute)

Friday, July 2nd-            Ed Travers Band (Jimmy Buffet Tribute)

Friday, July 9th-             Guilty Pleasures (80’s Band)

Friday, July 16th-           Endless Summer (Beach Boys Tribute)

Friday, July 23rd-           The Dedications (50’s, 60’s)

Friday, August 6th-         Let It Bleed (Rolling Stones Tribute)

Friday, August 13th-       Drop the 4 (Funk, R & B)

Friday, August 20th-       Naked Truth

Friday, September 3rd-  Allmost Brothers (Allman Brothers Tribute)

RAIN DATE (Long Beach): Friday, July 30th


Hoyt Farm: Sundays at 7 p.m. (Kids Day: July 18 from 3 to 7 p.m.)

Sunday, June 27th-         Southbound (Country Night)

Sunday, July 11th-           Brothers & Friends (Marshall Tucker Tribute)

Sunday, July 18th-           Kids Day (3:00-7:00PM) *Raindate- Sunday, August 29th

Sunday, July 25th-           The Dedications (50’s/60’s)

Sunday, August 1st-         Radio Flashback (70’s/80’s)

Sunday, August 8th-         Kerry Kearney Band (Blues)

Sunday, August 15th-       Foreign Journey (featuring C. Maroulis)

Sunday, August 22nd-      That 70’s Band (70’s)

Hoyt Concert Raindates: September 5th & 12th

*Concerts are open to Smithtown residents on a first-come, first-served basis. If either venue reaches capacity, an alert will go out on the official Town of Smithtown Mobile App. (Residents are encouraged to download the app which is free on Google Play and the Apple App Store.) Smithtown residency is verified upon admission to the townparks.

A Gentle Reminder:

As we return to a sense of normalcy, residents are reminded to please remain vigilant and stay home if you are feeling sick. Always remember to follow appropriate respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

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Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve in Commack. Photo from Facebook

Two childhood friends whose shared tie is a community they love are planning a celebration of what makes Commack unique.

The newly revived and first Commack Day will be held Oct. 6 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve off New Highway. Everyone’s invited, Commack resident or not, to help revive a tradition and bring it into the modern era.

James Manikas, a Commack resident and local real estate agent, said the idea of hosting a community festival first came up when he was reminiscing over high school memories with his friend, Commack native Dean Spinato.

There’s a Smithtown day, St. James day, a Nesconset day, Huntington fall festival, even Northport Cow Harbor Day, all of the surrounding towns have something like this.”

— James Manikas

“There’s a Smithtown day, St. James day, a Nesconset day, Huntington fall festival, even Northport Cow Harbor Day, all of the surrounding towns have something like this,” Manikas said. “Wouldn’t it be cool to shut down
Commack Road and have a big fair?”

The real estate agent said upon talking to older Commack residents, including his mother, he learned the community did once host an annualget together at Hoyt Nature Preserve, but the event hadn’t been held in close to 30 years.

“I think I may have attended it as a child,” he recalled.

Earlier this year, Manikas started posting videos and photos on Facebook suggesting a community celebration be revived. As his social media posts gained traction, Spinato, who works organizing marketing events, reached out to him offering to help.

I reached out to Jimmy and said, ‘I’m onboard,’” he said. “We’ve been friends since junior high, so let’s do this the right way. Let’s do a donation, give back and get the community involved.

The first idea of shutting down Commack Road to hold a street fair was met with several roadblocks.

“Commack has nothing because it’s split between Huntington and Smithtown,” Spinato said. “We’d have to go to both towns and see which road we would be able to shut down and get permits.”

They sought a special event permit from the Town of Smithtown to use Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve, harkening back to the past. A committee of lifelong “Commackians” was formed to begin assembling a lineup of entertainment, food and music.

When you find out someone is from Commack, you simply gravitate to them, it has that strong sense of community.”

— James Manikas

“When you find out someone is from Commack, you simply gravitate to them, it has that strong sense of community,” Manikas said. “I want people to see what a great town it is.”

The event will feature live music from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. including performances by 3 Dudes from Commack, Full Circle Live, Killing Time and 70’s Flashback. Several local and chain restaurants have agreed to donate food for the event, according to Manikas, which will be available for tasting.

“You’re allowed a table there to promote any kind of business,” he said. “We’d prefer it to be a Commack business first.”

A listing of all the businesses that have pledged to be involved can be found on the event’s website at www.commackday.com. Tickets are $10 in advance through eventbrite or $15 cash-only on the day of the event. A portion of the proceeds will be given to the Commack Fire Department.

“These people are here, protecting us and our community, who are strictly volunteer,” Manikas said. “I think the least we can do is give back to them.” 

Hoyt Farm Nature Preserve in Commack hosted a maple sugaring event this past Sunday, Feb. 28, where employees of the park demonstrated both Native American and colonial techniques on maple sugaring.

All participants were able to taste real maple syrup after they learned how to tap a tree for it in their own backyards and also learned about tree anatomy and photosynthesis.