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Merchants get chance to meet and greet

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Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2012 3:40 pm

When people can stroll through the New Hyde Park business district and become familiar with the merchants there in a personal way, there’s no better means of exposure for those merchants.

That’s the way Mark Laytin, president of the Greater New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce views the value of the annual New Hyde Park Street Fair for members of the chamber.

“Advertising is something that can bring business to a business. But It can never replace a face-to-face experience,” Laytin said. “This way the business owner has a chance to visit face to face with thousands of people in one day.”

He said chamber members typically start asking about when they’ll be receiving applications to participate in the street fair in the spring.

“There are quite a few members of the chamber that are participating. Most of them participate year after year so they must be finding value in it,” he said.  

Laytin points out that the local government - not the chamber - is the sponsoring entity, as the chamber assumes a supporting role.

New Hyde Park Mayor Daniel Petruccio said that is what sets the New Hyde Park Street Fair apart from other events of its type in other locales.

“It’s really an amazing undertaking,” Petruccio said. “New Hyde Park is unique in that it is the village that’s supporting it. It’s growing and it’s adding components.”

Petruccio noted that the popularity of the street fair has grown in recent years, with more than 20,000 people expected to visit the fair again this year. He attributes that partly to the street fair’s disposition to add new facets, such as the popular auto show on Lakeville Road which will feature cars of different vintages for the third consecutive year.

“That openness to do different things is important,” Petruccio said.

Petruccio said he finds the process of putting together the one-day event a remarkable thing in itself.

“I’m still amazed that they effectively close Jericho Turnpike and reroute traffic to bring in 25,000 visitors and by Saturday night it’s put back together,” he said

Apart from the opportunity for the community to come together, he said the basic focus of the street fair remains the benefit to members of its business community.

“Fundamentally this is still to showcase New Hyde Park and give our vendors to make additional money and sell their wares,” Petruccio said.

Laytin said the relaxed atmosphere along Jericho Turnpike in mild fall weather conveys a positive overall impression to visitors.

“It’s a lot of fun to browse and it’s certainly walkable because it’s from New Hyde Park Road to Covert Avenue,” he said.

This year, as in past years, there will be plenty to browse with more than 200 vendor booths, including local merchants, offering a chance to sample goods in a celebrative environment. 

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