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Long Island summer festivals in review

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Break out the suntan lotion and the hats! For those of you who enjoyed spending time outdoors, but not necessarily at the beach, this year’s summer festivals on Long Island proved the place to be. Weekend after weekend was filled with food, fun and festivities!

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The 23rd Annual Seafood Festival held at the Long Island Maritime Museum in Sayville offered patrons two days filled with music, crafts and food. Journey, U2, and Bon Jovi fans enjoyed tribute bands throughout the afternoon. Vendors were plentiful as you browsed up and down the outdoor aisles. Everything from tall, wooden animal sculptures to colorful, summer dresses could be found. Lunchtime offered welcomed treats, from steamed and raw clams to lobster roll. Quench your thirst with mint lemonade or Wild Bill’s Soda. For those of you interested in what the museum itself has to offer, you could walk down to the water’s edge and take a look at the Priscilla, an 1888 restored Oyster Sloop. This National Landmark offers public tours up through the last weekend in September. Call for reservations at 631-447-8679.

The Sayville Summerfest took place on Main Street in Sayville and the surrounding side streets. In addition to the food and vendors, they offered an antique car show. Award-winning, old-fashioned cars that people have either bought and restored or assembled themselves can be viewed. It makes even an onlooker with no experience in cars stop and look in awe. After you’ve looked at the cars, make sure to browse the merchandise and see what the artisans are offering. Wall decorations made out of beer bottles, metal figures made to look like aliens, and tables made out of relics from yesteryear all catch your eye as you pass by. What makes this festival extra special is that the stores on Main Street and the surrounding side streets remain open, so that you can browse through those, too. You may decide to return to Sayville to shop or to eat at one of the many fine restaurants at a later date.

The Smithtown Festival often kicks off the summer season by being one of the first festivals to take place in Suffolk County. Main Street in Smithtown comes to life as vendors line the street on one side and businesses and organizations line the other. You can find information on everything from hearing aids to dance classes offered in the community. Local children’s authors are usually present at this festival, too, as they sell signed copies of their books to parents and teachers walking by. Various acts perform throughout the day in the center of the festival, including everything from children’s jazz routines to a senior citizen band.

These are just a few of the festivals Long Island has to offer every summer. Now that the cool weather is approaching, we can make way for a whole new set of fall festivals for 2014. Each town offers their own version, including everything from Oktoberfest in Garden City, to a Dragon Race in Port Jeff. If your sweet tooth is getting the better of you, then mark your calendar for the Long Island Chocolate Festival at the Sayville Sports Plex. Kids and adults alike are sure to find cakes, cookies and anything they can imagine to satisfy that sugary craving. So what are you waiting for? Start making plans now! Find an event you like and head on out this fall. Enjoy everything that Long Island has to offer.