(Smithtown, NY) …Representatives from the Kings Park, Smithtown, St. James, Nesconset and East Northport Chambers joined Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta, a member of the Legislature’s Economic Development Committee, Legislator Leslie Kennedy, NYS Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick and other officials and businesses to address the need to increase the number of people allowed at outside festival/events. Currently, the maximum allowable number of people is 200 for outdoor events. “The health and well-being of our residents is of paramount importance, and the same is true of our local businesses who have been financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Suffolk Legislator Rob Trotta. “I don’t understand why the Governor is restricting the number when he said the New York State Fair will open later this summer. Our local small businesses are hurting and we need to do everything within our power to help them survive this pandemic,” added Legislator Trotta. It is well known that weekend festival, fairs and arts and craft events are held throughout the state starting in the spring and continuing throughout the fall. Hundreds of vendors participate and thousands of people attend and support the local business community.
“Smithtown Festival has been a major attraction for years. It was sorely missed last year by our Chamber members, businesses and vendors, as well as visitors who attend from throughout Long Island when it was cancelled due to the pandemic,” said Barbara Franco, the Greater Smithtown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. “I can’t tell you how excited our members and Main Street businesses are that we will have our Festival Day on June 6 this year. In the past we have had thousands of people to downtown Smithtown for this festival,” Franco noted. Diane Motherway, the Kings Park Chamber Executive Director, has scheduled their annual Kings Park Day for Saturday, June 19, echoes these sentiments. The St. James Chamber is in the process of planning their concerts, movie nights and fall festival. The East Northport Chamber is looking forward to holding their annual weekend festival in early September. Chambers have to plan months in advance and obtain permits in order to hold these events.
The Smithtown Chamber is taking all of the necessary precautions to comply with the guidelines such as issuing wristbands to all participants, designating entrance and exit ways, as well as making facemasks and hand sanitizer available to all. Through the cooperation of the New York State Department of Transportation and the Suffolk County 4th Police Precinct, Route 25A/Main Street will be closed to vehicle traffic during Festival Day to insure the public’s safety.
Pictured at the press conference are New York State Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick (at the podium), Suffolk County Legislator Rob Trotta (right), and members of the various Chambers of Commerce behind them.