2017-05-19 / Front Page

MEMORIAL DAY FAIR PLANS

Memorial Day Fair tradition continues under new leadership


Plans are underway for the 64th annual Memorial Day Fair on the grounds of the Cathedral of the Incarnation. The Fair will take place from noon to 4 p.m. This year’s fair will include a wider range of games including a rock climbing wall. Above, Dean Michael Sniffen at the dunking tank. Plans are underway for the 64th annual Memorial Day Fair on the grounds of the Cathedral of the Incarnation. The Fair will take place from noon to 4 p.m. This year’s fair will include a wider range of games including a rock climbing wall. Above, Dean Michael Sniffen at the dunking tank. Last week, the organizer for the annual Memorial Day Fair, Beth Pughe, was dropping off flyers at local stores. One shop owner laughed out loud, saying “As if you need to put out flyers! Everyone in Garden City knows about the Fair!”

The Memorial Day Fair, now in its 64th year, is unquestionably a Garden City tradition. The Fair takes place every year on the grounds of the Cathedral of the Incarnation following the American Legion’s Memorial Day parade. “If you live in Garden City, the Fair is a treasured part of Memorial Day,” remarked the Cathedral’s Dean, the Very Rev’d Michael Sniffen. “Plenty of people have no idea what goes on inside the Cathedral, or if it’s even open,” he said. “The one thing they know is that the Memorial Day Fair will be there.”

While the Cathedral may have been a mystery to the Garden City community in recent decades, Dean Sniffen has been working to build bridges between the Cathedral and its neighbors since he arrived in 2015. The Cathedral joined the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club last year. It has partnered with Ellevate Long Island, the Interfaith Nutrition Network, and other groups to host events and fundraisers. The Cathedral now leads a chaplaincy program at Adelphi University in partnership with the Interfaith Center. More than 400 people have taken guided tours of the Cathedral in this year alone. While many Garden City residents only visit the Cathedral for the Fair, the myth that the Cathedral is a closed, museum-piece seems to be evaporating.

Cathedral volunteers who organize the Fair have also looked at ways to welcome more people this year. Responding to a lack of activities for older children, this year’s Fair will include a wider range of games, such as a 20-foot hydraulic rock climbing wall and a massive slide. Favorites such as the goldfish booth and a large bounce house will be on hand as well. An old-fashioned “general store” will sell arts and crafts from around the village, giving local businesses visibility with the 1500 people expected at the Fair this year.

While Dean Sniffen is looking forward to a swim in the dunk tank at this year’s “Dunk the Dean,” he’s also hoping the Cathedral’s newfound friends in the Village might volunteer as well. “It would be great if some local politicians signed up for the dunk tank,” he said. “It’s great public relations to let constituents have a little fun dunking you in a spirit of neighborliness. It sure beats being raked over the coals in a public meeting!”

The 64th annual Memorial Day Fair will take place from 12pm to 4pm at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 36 Cathedral Avenue, Garden City. Guided tours with organ concerts are scheduled for 12pm and 2pm. For more information, contact the Cathedral at cathedral@incarnationgc.org or (516) 746-2955.

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