Pols save annual TNLL festival

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Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Councilman Jimmy Vacca recently teamed up to ensure a longtime Throgs Neck tradition would continue this year. 

Thanks to phone calls to the mayor’s office, the Throgs Neck Little League Spring Festival and Flea Market will take place as scheduled on Thursday, May 29 through Sunday, June 1. 

A representative of the councilman said the major issue of contention with respect to the mayor agreeing to the permit was the placement of carnival rides. 

According to the councilman’s office, new regulations required the league to get their request in for the festival by December 2007.  Unknowingly, the TNLL was late by several days resulting in an initial denial of their application. 

“There are new regulations that govern street fairs and this is the first year of these new regulations,” Vacca added. “I was glad to work this through with the mayor’s office, though it did take time.”

As part of a compromise, the city agreed to station rides at the curbside (12 feet from the curb), rather than on the sidewalk or in the street. 

“I’m glad that all the parties came together to reach a decision to go forth with this festival,” Benedetto commented.  “It just makes common sense.”

The mayor’s office was equally proud of their efforts. “The annual festival is an important fundraiser for the Throgs Neck Little League,” said community affairs commissioner, Nazli Parvizi. “The mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, along with the mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office, was delighted to work with Councilman Jimmy Vacca to ensure that this festival could move forward.”

With the official word that the permit was approved coming on Tuesday, May 6, league officials are now happily scrambling to make sure everything is ready for the end of the month. 

“I just hope the vendors didn’t make other commitments,” said, Frank Eisele, league secretary.  “But I’m not too worried.”

The event will feature roughly 50 vendors and house a flea market on the league’s main field, while baseball games will be played throughout the weekend on the junior field.

“We are thrilled that this festival is going forward, not only for general revenue,” Eisele commented, “but specifically to complete our outfield fence.”

With a recent $20,000 grant from Senator Jeff Klein, as well as the festival’s revenue, Eisele feels the league will have no trouble purchasing the $30,000 fencing they have sought.   

Vacca was proud that he had a hand in making this a reality. 

 “My office tries to make city agencies see that events like this have merit,” said Vacca, commenting on his positive personal experiences of the festival in years’ past. “Little leagues represent the heart of a good community.”

The festival will run Thursday and Friday from 5-10:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Updated 5:29 pm, October 21, 2011
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