A Fun Fall Day for Beach 116th Street

 A Fun Fall Day for Beach 116th Street

By Katie McFadden

The Beach 116th Merchants Association’s first annual Beach 116th Fall Fest was a successful day of fall family fun on one of Rockaway’s main shopping corridors.

After a series of rainy weekends over the last month, the skies cleared and the sun came out to shine on Beach 116th Street on Sunday, October 15. And Rockaway came out strong to enjoy it all. With a pumpkin patch, petting zoo, bouncy house and other rides, face painting, games and more, kids were kept entertained while all enjoyed pop-up food vendors selling sausage and peppers, zeppoles, cannolis and other goodies along with some of Beach 116th’s vendors selling goods and goodies. Plus, the crowds were treated to some supreme musical talent with the likes of Walker Hornung, Rami, John Simonelli, Pasty Does, Frank Persico, Bobby Butler and Danny Mulvanerty, and bands, Glenn Strange and The Set Theory rocking out the center median in front of a packed Rogers Pub.

Before the music began, Rogers owner, Michael McMahon, one of many who played a big role in making the festival possible, said to the crowd, “If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t have this today. Matt, Rob, Mike, Joann worked together, the merchants association of 116th Street. We gotta make 116th strong and we gotta stick together. This is our street and we’re taking it back. So we need support from everybody, and we need to support our stores, our people and the block.”

The idea for the festival sparked from monthly meetings of the Beach 116th Merchants Association, formed last year under the advisement of Councilwoman Joann Ariola. McMahon of Rogers, Rob Pisani of Bagel Barista Station, Matt Mazzone of Mazzone Ace Hardware, Michael Fiore of The Meat Up Grill and others have been strong leaders within the association who hope to bring improvements to the block. The Rockaway Civic Association, Ariola’s office and NYC Parks also had a big hand in making the festival a hit.

Councilwoman Ariola was proud to see it all come together. “I think it was a resounding success,” she told The Rockaway Times. “I didn’t get any complaints. People were thanking all of us, the merchants association, our office, over and over for bringing such an amazing festival to 116th Street. My personal favorite was the live music. I thought that was outstanding and so very Rockaway and I think it’s just going to get bigger and better every year. I want to thank the business owners and merchants association for putting their heart and soul into this and trusting us that we would be able to get it up and running.”

The day included t-shirt sales and a 50/50 to help raise money to make improvements to the block, such as reconstructing the center medians, so shoppers aren’t stepping in dirt when they walk on them, and more. Beach 116th merchants will also be selling raffle tickets for a big $10K raffle to help cover costs of the holiday lights once again.

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