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Community kicks off summer with Seaford Saturday Nights

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Community members gathered last Saturday night for the kickoff of the Seaford Chamber of Commerce’s annual Seaford Saturday Nights series.

Food trucks and craft vendors lined the Seaford Long Island Rail Road parking lot for the event, which ran from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. It featured music by the Long Island-based cover band Our Generation as well as children’s activities, like gaga ball, which is similar to dodgeball.

Seaford residents Grace Bennett and Phillip Cohen danced to the music of the band Our Generation.
Seaford residents Grace Bennett and Phillip Cohen danced to the music of the band Our Generation.

“The Seaford Chamber of Commerce has really done a lot these last couple of years to bring these types of events to Seaford,” Hempstead Town Councilman Chris Carini said. “The chamber called me right away, and tons of people called my office. They’re excited to get back out. People are ready to put this behind them at this point.”

Seaford Saturday Nights was the brainchild of chamber members Donna Jebaily and Celia Hanney in 2019. “We saw that other people were having food-truck events in the area, and we said, ‘You know what? Why don’t we do something here in Seaford?’” Jebaily recalled. “So we decided to do it. We came up with the name Seaford Saturday Nights, and here it is. It’s like a big block party.”

While Jebaily focused on getting the food trucks and vendors, Hanney was responsible for arranging the band and setting up the sound system. “Donna put the permit request in around Christmas, and we just got it approved about a month ago,” Hanney said. “It’s nice that everyone is getting back out and everyone’s vaccinated now.”

“I love hearing all of the food-truck vendors say to me how much they love coming to Seaford, because the town residents are so nice and just love being here,” Hanney said. “At the end of the night, the vendors have nothing but positive things to say about the residents here, and that makes me happy.”

“Every single food truck said they wanted to come back this year because they love the people of Seaford,” Jebaily said.

The kickoff also served as a reopening of sorts for the community after Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week announced that approximately 70 percent of residents over age 18 had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. That prompted the removal of social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing and cleaning mandates.

Despite the rain earlier in the day, roughly 150 people attended the event, many setting up tents and chairs to enjoy the entertainment and the company of others. “I came out to see my friends and enjoy the entertainment and food,” said resident Brian Semple. “Seaford’s a great town. It’s good to see things going back to the new normal, and people out and about and enjoying life again.”

Resident Lisa Brienza said she was eager to attend the event this year after it was canceled last year due to the pandemic. “I said, you know what, it’s going to rain,” Brienza said. “But nothing is going to stop us, and here we are. My favorite part of this event is, of course, the food.”

“2020 has taught us … how much we need each other,” said County Legislator Steve Rhoads, who stopped by. “We need events like this, and now that everything is open, it’s nice to be able to come out and see friends and neighbors and just be together as a community. I want to thank the Chamber of Commerce for providing this opportunity. Seaford Saturday Nights are now officially open for business.”

“The people love it,” Jebaily said. “Even tonight, we have a really great crowd, and the weather isn’t the greatest, but they were really waiting for this. We needed this. Everybody needed this.”