Sea Cliff To Celebrate 50th Anniversary Of Mini Mart

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Last year’s Mini Mart featured more than 200 vendors. (Photo source: Facebook)

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend Sea Cliff’s street fair on Sunday, Oct. 6. Attendees will have the chance to shop more than 200 vendors, experience live music, as well as a variety of foods from the different restaurants nearby.

The Mini Mart will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The day long fair continues to be a major fundraising opportunity for the communities nonprofit organizations including the Lions Club, Rotary and the North Shore Kiwanis.

The Mini Mart first began in 1964, when the mayor at the time, Edward Stiles decided he wanted to draw people to the area and help put the village “on the map.” Stiles hired a talented artist and Sea Cliff resident by the name of Madeline Kle to recruit local professionals and amateur artists, as well as well-known names in the art world. The Mini Mart became successful, with more than 10,000 people attending during the then weeklong event.

Starting in 1969, residents Lois Eckland, Jim Aiello and Jay Powers ran the Mini Mart making it a successful event for the next 10 years. In the early 1980s, members of various Sea Cliff organizations discussed how they could continue making the Mini Mart successful. The president of the North Shore Kiwanis at the time, Arthur Hobbs, volunteered his organization to run the Mini Mart. The group agreed and has been running it ever since.

The Mini Mart, which now takes place for one day in October, features arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, stained-glass, pottery and more. This year, for the 50th anniversary, the street fair will be focused on art, much like it was when it first began 50 years ago. The coordinators for the event, Lisa Larsen-Hill and her husband Roger Hill, members of the Kiwanis worked to incorporate more artists into this year’s fair.

A “mini mart memory” contest will also be held in honor of the 50th anniversary. People will have the opportunity to submit a photo or story of a memory from the mini mart going back 50 years. A committee will then look at the photos and determine a winner, who will receive note cards created by local artist, Doug Barnaby.

“This is an event for everyone, especially for families,” Larsen-Hill said. “It’s just a day to enjoy the music, the weather, the crispness of the fall, the lovely vendors and the artwork.”

All the funding from the fair goes to the local community and local charities such as Kamp Kiwanis, scholarships for students and the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Center.

The Mini Mart will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Additional parking at Tappen Beach on Shore Road will be available, and a shuttle bus will be providing transportation to and from the fair. Coordinators of the event ask that attendees do not bring their dogs to the fair, for the safety of the children. For additional information or for directions, call 516-671-0080.

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