By Nathan Duke
More than 40 children and their parents gathered last weekend at Bayside’s Captain Dermondy Square to watch a magic show and take part in an Easter egg roll as the Bayside Hills Civic Association hosted its second-annual spring festival.
The civic had started the festival last year as a means of providing outdoor activities for neighborhood children at the beginning of spring in early April.
“We thought it would be a great event to bring out children,” said William Liao, a civic member whose wife created the festival and gathered its sponsors. “Bayside is a great place to raise kids, but there are not many events for them. This is a great way for their parents to get to know each other.”
The festival, which was held at Captain Dermondy Square at the corner of 48th Avenue and 216th Street in Bayside, included a performance by Manhattan magician Seth Dale, who made bottles of water disappear but also, unfortunately, a $100 bill handed over by City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).
Dale swore to reimburse the councilman after the money could not be retrieved.
“This is just like politics,” Halloran joked.
But the magician later made the councilman’s money reappear stuffed inside an orange.
Children from the community also participated in an Easter egg roll on the grass at the square.
Michael Feiner, president of the civic, said the event was one of the few of its kind in the neighborhood at this time of year.
“It has a lot of exciting activities for children,” he said.
A bevy of elected officials and political hopefuls turned out to watch the day’s events, including Halloran and state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) as well as Community Board 1 Chairman Jerry Iannece, former Councilman Tony Avella, former state Assembly contender Bob Friedrich and current Assembly candidate Vince Tabone.
But the event’s focus was on the neighborhood’s children, who said they were awed by Dale’s magic tricks.
“I liked how all the things disappeared,” said Bayside’s Kyle Chen, 7.
The festival, which began around noon Saturday, was sponsored by Liberty Mutual Bank, TD Bank, Starbucks, Queens Health Emporium, the city Community Emergency Response Team and Bayside nursery Keil Brothers.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.