The results are in, and Wednesday night’s first-ever Alive by the Bay summer street festival in Bay Shore was deemed a “huge success” by its organizers and other participants on Main Street.
The festival, which involved closing Main Street in the downtown while keeping Maple Avenue open to traffic, went on without incident, said Anthony Tartaglia, who heads the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Bay Shore’s restaurant committee, which conceived of and ran the festival.
“We really had something for everyone,” Tartaglia said.
The question remaining is whether two more Wednesday night festivals would be happening this coming August.
This first Alive by the Bay was being billed as a test run for those involved; the Islip Town Board would have to approve the permits for the additional events.
Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter was not available for comment on Friday.
Tartaglia, who owns Verde Kitchen & Cocktails at 70 East Main Street, said the local restaurants did three to four times more business than they would on a typical summer Wednesday. And many of the 30 vendors that set up at Alive by the Bay offered positive feedback on sales and sales efforts, he added.
“For the most part, everybody killed it,” said Anthony Leis, owner of AJ’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese at 182 West Main Street.
AJ’s had set up a booth further east into the downtown during the festival.
“I had a few concerns” about the possibility of light attendance, he said. “But when 5:30 p.m. hit, the street were packed all the way through the 9 p.m. downpour. The lines at every restaurant serving outside didn’t stop for a second.”
Tartaglia said for future Alive by the Bay festivals, the restaurant committee would like to add portable toilets, more funding for morning cleanup, and more security.
“Not that we need the [security] muscle,” Tartaglia said, “but it’s always good to have more of a presence; more people out helping with traffic and directing people where to go. But overall everyone seemed happy and it was without incident.”
The other events, if approved, would be held on Aug. 9 and Aug. 23.
The restaurant committee will be reporting to the Town Board later this month.
“We’re hoping to have a decision shortly afterward based on the success we had this past Wednesday,” Tartaglia said.
Top: Alive by the Bay photo by Jennifer Mercurio of Lasting Impressions Photography.