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Community celebrates summer with Seaford Saturday Nights


A crowd of Seaford residents shared a dinner of seared meats, baked goods and fruit bowls last Saturday night in the Seaford Long Island Rail Road train station parking lot, while enjoying the tunes of local bands, including the Pilot Program, Brothers McMuffin, the Rook and the Rebellion Lost.

Roughly 1,000 people attended the event, one of five free evenings of food and entertainment called Seaford Saturday Nights.

Jennifer Belfatto, from Seaford, came because her friends were performing in one of the bands. “Our kids are all in kindergarten, so this is the first time we’ve had a community thing with the kindergarten friends,” she said. “So we all came out together.”

Seaford Saturday Nights — on June 22, July 6, July 20, Aug. 10 and Aug. 24 — feature 10 or more food trucks set up around the parking lot from 5 to 9 p.m., according to event coordinators Celia Hanney and Donna Jebaily. Participants can find fare such as hamburgers, pizza, crepes, acai bowls and ice cream prepared by food trucks, including Neapolitan Express and All American Wontons, while being entertained by local musicians.

Avery Garcia, 9, and her sister, Brielle, 7, came out on Saturday to support their father, Michael Garcia, lead singer of the Rook. “I’m most excited to see my dad play,” Avery said. “I’m really happy for him.”

Seaford residents Hanney and Jebaily work with the Seaford Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the evenings, to make the series memorable. In May, Hanney proposed the idea for food truck nights to Jebaily, who then brought the idea to chamber President Ken Jacobsen. He agreed to help make the idea a reality.

Jacobsen described the evenings as “a big block party,” with something for everyone. “So far we’ve had two Saturdays,” he said. “It was just people hanging out, listening to music, sitting around [and] talking. They brought their lounge chairs, and the kids were playing.”

Roughly 1,500 people attended the first event on June 22, according to Hanney. At the final event, onAug. 24, donations will be collected in support of Frankie’s Fight, a fund to help 1½-year-old Frankie Spano Jr., of Seaford, who has leukemia.

Alex and Eileen Chiorazzi, of Seaford, came to the third Saturday Night to eat some dinner. “There’s so many good things,” Eileen said. “I can’t decide.” 

Karen Maggio, 34, of West Babylon, said she attended to support her boyfriend, Sam Hoyos, who played guitar in the Pilot Program. “I thought they were amazing,” she said.

Matthew Deller, 50, of Rockville Centre, and Jane Cunningham, 57, of Oceanside, operated the Neapolitan Express food truck, which served pizzas, gyros and lobster rolls at the second and third Saturday Nights. “It was a great event the last time we came,” Deller said. “Plenty of people — happy people — so we came here to serve them.” Neapolitan Express is based in Long Beach.

Jebaily said she thought the event was a great way for people to socialize and have a good time. “It’s really a great community event,” she said. “It’s great for all ages.”

She added that the series was growing. “It just took off,” she said. “It was bigger than we thought it would be . . . and it’s something we look forward to doing in years to come.”