Queens county fair returns to Floral Park

By Gabriel Rom

This past weekend Queens residents got a little taste of country life at the borough’s only county fair at Floral Park.

Now in its 33rd year, the fair hosted a panoply of events and entertainment from the wacky to the delicious.

“For those viewing the entries, it is incredible to find that even in our fast-paced city, people with such busy schedules find the time to make jam, jellies and pies using treasured family recipes; grow beautiful flowers and create amazing artwork,” said Farm Museum Director Amy Boncardo.

While there were plenty of down-on-the-farm activities to keep visitors entertained, a couple of new performers with an international flair were featured.

On Saturday, the fair hosted Irish bands and dancers and on Sunday, German bands and dancers performed rollicking Bavarian folk songs in a makeshift beer garden.

In addition to new acts and bands, the fair featured its traditional blue-ribbon competition in livestock, produce, home crafts, arts and more. Visitors had the opportunity to listen to music, try their hand at juggling and see different exhibits, yet the county fair still houses its time-honored activities like pig racing, pie eating and corn husking contests. Hayrides were also available to explore the farmland throughout the fair.

“I’m here to show my children what a real farm looks like, without the crowds,” said a woman from Sunnyside who only gave her name as Denise. “I want to show them where food comes from.”

Tours of the farmhouse give background information on the farmland. The house dates back to 1697, residing on New York City’s largest parcel of unaltered farmland. The farm has 47 acres of New York state’s longest farmed land, including historic buildings, greenhouses, and planting fields.

Lou Pastorini was out enjoying the farm grounds with his wife Betsy.

“We’re here for the pig racing,” he said with a chuckle. “We like to support things in the city of New York that are very different, especially a working farm in New York,” he said. “That’s an amazing thing.”

Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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