BY ROSA KIM
Glowing with community pride, businesses and local organizations filled the streets in Maspeth to celebrate the annual Grand Avenue Festival.
“It’s amazing how every vendor participates,” said Ann Marie Mcgee, a Maspeth resident of over 30 years. “Every vendor is in on this. It’s amazing. Every store contributing.”
Students at Song & A Dance, a neighborhood dance and music school, have performed at the festival for 20 years. Children and young adults showcased their skills from ballet to break dance.
Longtime Maspeth resident Danny Mickulas came out to watch his daughter perform.
“It’s a good family day today, and nice weather too,” he said. “Every year we’re always here at the festival and the parades. Everything they do over here, we try to get involved.”
Food, clothing and home decor businesses participated in the festival, which was organized by the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce. The event also featured volunteer organizations including the Maspeth Lions Club, a local presence for over 30 years.
Lions Club President Joseph Papabero said the money raised from selling food donated by local vendors will go to charity. Causes include providing local nursing homes with blankets, hosting events for needy children, taking care of wounded veterans and efforts to fight juvenile diabetes and cancer.
“It’s a beautiful day,” Papabero said. “The whole neighborhood is out. You get to meet everybody in the community.”
Kylie Ionesco has been attending the festival for nine years.
“I like the food and all the accessories out here,” she said. “Every year, it gets bigger. It gets better.”