11th annual Arts Below Sunrise Festival is Sunday


Along Broadway from the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library stretching to Irving Place in Woodmere, near the Woodmere firehouse, what is considered the largest outdoor festival in the Five Towns will take place on Sunday.

The 11th annual Arts Below Sunrise organized by the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools Endowment Fund, HWPL and the Hewlett-Woodmere Business Association will kick off at 10 a.m. and wrap up around 5 p.m. on May 19. LIPrime and Herald Community Newspapers are the media sponsors.

Arts Below Sunrise is a community music and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) festival that has a multitude of musical performances, robotics presentations, petting zoo and hands-on science activities for children and adults. The award-winning robotics team, Bionica will be conducting demonstrations.

“As this festival is a STEAM-based event, please visit our booth for fun giveaways and crafts, including crochet, at our tables. For the first time this year, we have invited the Nassau Library System’s Techmobile to join us,” said Michelle Young, Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library director. “The Techmobile will be parked across from our booth and will feature VR technology—so put on a headset and come game with your friends and family.”

One of the main sponsors of this festival is the Hewlett-Woodmere Business Association.

“The Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools and the Hewlett Woodmere Business Association is pleased to continue the celebration of the district’s 125th anniversary,” said David Friedman, president of the HWBA. “The district added amusement park rides for the kids in addition to the usual bounce house and big slide.”

Friedman, who has been one of the main organizers for 11 years, highlighted the Hewlett Fire Department live demonstrations, training and trucks.

There will be a special presentation from the Hewlett Fire Department in the library parking lot, they will have demos in front of The Woodmere Education Center and inside too,” Friedman said.

The Cradle of Aviation Museum will be having special planetarium shows throughout the day, along with a star finder activity.

“HWPL will again be sponsoring a series of 30-minute planetarium shows along with a Star Finder activity table, all directly from the Cradle of Aviation Museum. The table and the shows will be held indoors at the Woodmere Education Center Auditorium (1 Johnson Place) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., so bring your family and travel through space and time to see the stars,” said Young.

There also will be stage performances, including one from the Cultural Performance by the Valley Stream South High School Cultural Society. Science teacher Jeffrey Hsi, is the club’s adviser.

The performance will consist of four to six acts — Chinese Lion, Bollywood, Mexican Skirt, Chinese Yo-Yo, and a surprise finish.

“My multicultural club was first invited to Arts Below Sunrise by the Hewlett-Woodmere Endowment Fund, years ago,” Hsi said.

Unfortunately due to the smaller stage size, Hsi is unable to bring all of his club members. The performances will includes up to 20 students in seventh to 12th grade.

“The Cultural Society at South has 250 students in it, our annual World Culture Night show involves around 30 different cultural acts,” he said. “We have held assemblies at six different elementary schools this year with a selection of these acts from our show.”

The Hewlett-Woodmere Business Association will be raffling off a big television, and the Hewlett-Woodmere Endowment Fund is raffling a bicycle.

The students from Woodmere Middle School and Woodmere High School will be volunteering at the festival.

“We thank our sponsors and volunteers for helping us produce the festival,” Friedman said.