10 can't-miss summer fairs and festivals
Nothing says summer like a fair, parade or festival. You can spend almost any Saturday or Sunday wandering from one outdoor celebration to another - eating, people-watching, playing games or enjoying midway rides.
Here are 10 you shouldn't miss.
1. GO GREEK (June 3-6)
Traditional dancing, music and food are on tap at St. Nicholas Shrine Greek Orthodox Church's Grecian Festival in West Babylon. You'll find Greek-themed vendors and other surprises - including a Greek band and men wandering around in Spartan soldier costumes (631-587-1150).
2. DANCE AT A PARADE (June 6)
About 60,000 are expected to celebrate Brentwood's Adelante Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade and Festival, which starts at noon along Fifth Avenue. You'll see 2,000 participants - many in gloriously colorful costumes - march and dance their way down the parade route to the festival that follows.
Photos: 48th annual Adelante parade | X-Team at Adelante parade
3. GET SOME BERRIES (June 18-20)
Strawberry shortcake, tarts, daiquiris - it's only the start of what's in store at the annual Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival in Mattituck. Get your fill, stroll the midway and stick around for the fireworks (631-298-2222,mattitucklionsclub.org).
Video: 55th annual Mattituck Strawberry Festival
Photos: Mattituck Strawberry Festival | X-Team at Strawberry Festival
4. BE PATRIOTIC (July 4)
Pack a picnic lunch and celebrate Independence Day the old-fashioned way. Old Bethpage Village Restoration's daylong festivities include a parade, musket firings, fiddle music and children's games (516-572-8400).
5. BROWSE FINE ART (July 8-11)
Even if you're not a serious collector, it's fun to hobnob at Arthamptons, where 6,000 pieces of sculpture, painting and photography totaling around $3 million will be on display at Sayne Park in Bridgehampton (631-283-5505, arthamptons.com).
Guide: The Hamptons
Blog: Hangin' in the Hamptons
6. ROCK OUT (July 9-11)
Three stages, 40-plus bands - the weekend-long Great South Bay Music Festival at Shorefront Park in Patchogue, pairs national acts, such as Robert Randolph & the Family Band, with hometown bands such as Miles to Dayton. (631-331-0808, greatsouthbaymusicfestival.com) -- Reader pick submitted by Dave Musser of Shirley.
Video: Great South Bay Music Festival
Photos: X-Team at Great South Bay Music Festival
7. LEARN TO POLKA (Aug. 21-22)
Riverhead's Polishtown USA celebrates its heritage in a big way every summer with an outdoor festival marked by fresh kielbasa sandwiches, potato pancakes, polka bands and a street fair with 250 vendors, Aug. 21-22 (631-369-1616, polishtownusa.com).
Photos: X-Team at Polish Town Fest
8. NOSH ON SEAFOOD (Aug. 28-29)
Lobster, chowder, shrimp cocktail - they're the stuff the Long Island Maritime Museum Seafood Festival & Craft Fair is made of, in West Sayville. While you're there, tour the museum and browse arts and crafts booths (631-563-8551, preferredpromotions.com).
Video: Long Island Maritime Museum Festival
Photos: X-Team at the Seafood Festival
9. HAIL THE ZEPPOLI (Aug. 27-29; Sept. 1-6)
Among the more notable happenings at the massive annual Feast of Mother Cabrini: a zeppoli-eating contest that challenges contenders to scarf down as many of the fried dough confections as possible. The full affair - with games, rides, live music and fireworks - runs Aug. 27-29 and Sept. 1-6 in Brentwood (631-499-6824, mothercabrinifeast.org).
Photos: Mother Cabrini Italian Feast
10. EXPERIENCE NATIVE CULTURE
Among the more memorable events of summer is the grand entry parade of American Indian dancers and tribe members at the annual Shinnecock Powwow. It runs Sept. 3-6 with dancing competitions, drumming and crafts for sale (631-283-6143, shinnecocknation.com).
Video: Sights and sounds from Shinnecock Powwow
Photos: Shinnecock Powwow