Children are back in school, leaves are beginning to turn and nights are growing cooler, all indications that autumn is here — and so is the Seaford Harvest Fair.
On Sept. 24, residents and visitors will flock to the Seaford Historical Museum for the 11th annual festival. The fair will feature more than 50 vendors, musical entertainment, food, a pumpkin patch, face-painting and more.
The Seaford Historical Society, which hosts the event, operates the museum, on Waverly Avenue, which originally served as a school when it was built in 1893.
Money raised at the Harvest Fair through the raffle and sale of Seaford merchandise — including shirts, hats, mugs and maps of the community — will help pay for the maintenance of the building, which houses memorabilia and artifacts that reflect Seaford’s long history as a bay and farming town.
Historical Society leaders expect more than 1,000 people to visit the fair next week. Patrick Martz, a member of the board of directors, said the festival has become a deep-rooted tradition for local families.
“We put in countless hours of planning to make sure this event goes off without a hitch every year,” Martz said. “We encourage all to stop in and see what we’re working so hard to preserve for generations to come.”
Guests can sample fall foods and buy plants like pumpkins, mums and cornstalks. Youngsters can decorate pumpkins that they pick from the patch, create harvest-themed crafts or have their faces painted. Adults are invited to participate in raffle drawings. This year’s grand prize is a $500 Visa gift card, Martz said.
Judy Bongiovi, president of the historical society, noted that the fair was first held in the 1960s, but was discontinued when the society disbanded for more than 30 years. When the group was revived in the early 2000s, the Harvest Fair was, too. More than 500 people attended the event last year, Bongiovi said, enjoying an afternoon of family fun and meeting leaders of local civic and community groups.
“My favorite part of the day is just seeing the positive effect the Harvest Fair has on the community,” she said. “It’s evident of the Seaford pride we show here every day.”
Martz said that members of the Seaford Ladies Auxiliary donate baked goods and volunteer at the fair, along with the Seaford High School Student Council — a group that Bongiovi said is instrumental in staging the event. The high school’s jazz band will perform on the Hempstead Town ShowMobile, as will Downstage Dance, M&T Dance Unlimited, the Long Island Cabaret Theatre and Rob and Patty Meadow.
Karen Cass, president of the Seaford Chamber of Commerce and a member of the historical society’s board of directors, said that community leaders work hard to bring residents together at the fair to support the museum.
“Without the income from the annual Harvest Fair, we would not be able to keep the museum operating,” Martz added.
The building, which was constructed at the corner of Jackson and Waverly avenues and dedicated in 1894, served as a school until 1917. When the Jackson Avenue School opened in 1921, the museum building was moved a block west on Waverly and became the headquarters of the Seaford Fire Department.
In commemoration of the nation’s bicentennial, the structure was rededicated as the Historical Museum on July 4, 1976.
The historical society hosts events and programs for children and adults at the building throughout the year. For more information, visit www.seafordhistoricalsociety.org.