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Smile on Maspeth Day carnival returns to lift community’s spirits

Smile on Maspeth Day Carnival
Maspeth Federal Savings hosts their first Smile on Maspeth Day carnival since 2019 at their main branch on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

The Smile on Maspeth Day carnival returned Sunday, Sept. 18, for the first time since having to shut down in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maspeth Federal Savings (MFS) announced the return of the annual event, which took place at the Maspeth branch parking lot at 56-18 69th St. The carnival was free and open to the public with activities including rides, games, magic, comedy and circus acts.

MFS started the carnival during the Great Recession in 2008 to uplift the community’s spirits. Since then, it has been well-attended, with thousands coming out to enjoy the carnival every year.

“We founded Smile on Maspeth Day in 2008 to lift the spirits of our community. Its mission rings true today, and with this year’s event, we hope to give people a reason to smile and have some fun after these last few years,” said President and CEO Thomas Rudzewick.

The Royal Hannaford Circus took the stage to headline the event. The circus collective dates back to the 1600s. The act includes chair balancing, juggling and motorcycle globe.

Royal Hannaford Circus motorcycle globe. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

The event also included an interactive “pirate training” show for adults and children aboard a 30-foot pirate ship.

Pirate show at the Smile on Maspeth event. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

Other performers included Captain Faust’s Magic Show featuring Vegas-style illusions and exotic animals and The Muttville Comedy Dog Show, which was featured on “Late Night with David Letterman.”

“Smile on Maspeth Day stands out to me over my 20 years here at MFS,” said Vice President and Director of Deposit Operations Victoria Grappone. “To see the smile on children’s faces, it’s just an amazing day for everyone.”

The event also had a bouncy house, obstacle course, carnival games and a DJ who hosted a dance party.

Attendees enjoy Ghost Pitch and other carnival games. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

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