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Boro residents ‘fair’ well at Belmont Park festival

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Situated just across the Nassau border from Queens Village, the Belmont Fair has for the past seven years drawn people from around the borough. This year the fair opened April 9 and runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening until May 2. Parking costs $4 and general admission $7, with ride tickets extra.

Under an assault of flashing lights and cartoon noises and with the smell of Italian sausages wafting in the air, patrons enjoyed more than 150 rides and attractions Saturday, ranging from racing pigs to the Fireball. In the latter, thrill-seekers are buckled into an open box with stadium seating and then spun viciously upside down.

"Some rides are very sick," said 46-year-old Marcella Trunecek of Ridgewood, who took her son to the fair for his 12th birthday. Nevertheless, she called the fair "peaceful," because she said carnivals in Queens are usually held in crowded parking lots.

Younger patrons largely agreed with Trunecek that the rides were "sick," with that being a vital part of the experience.

Jasmine Meeks of Jamaica, an 11-year-old who wore a green "Queens" T-shirt, said she liked the Kamikaze ride "because it gives me a headache." The Kamikaze features one giant pole with two arms, each with a large chamber on the end to hold riders, who are whipped around in a windmill motion.

As they strolled from ride to ride and game to game, some of the teenagers participated in various permutations of that great romantic ritual - the first date.

"I wanted to break up with my boyfriend," said 15-year-old Julie Emiruseinova of Bayside, explaining why she was with Michael Marzulli, also 15 and of Bayside, instead of her boyfriend. Realizing she might get in trouble by speaking to a reporter, she asked no one in particular, "What if he reads this?" Then she said mischievously that her boyfriend does not read.

Other fair-goers came for the culinary delights, such as hot dogs, cotton candy and funnel cake.

"I like the food," said Fritz Montrevil of Queens Village, who watched his kids as they completed circuits on the giant Ferris wheel. For the record, Montrevil said he had already eaten two Philly cheese steaks in three hours.

Catering to hungry eaters was Peter Karageorgris of Astoria, who travels the East Coast purveying souvlaki and gyros at fairs of all shapes and sizes.

Karageorgris said Belmont was unique in that it was a county fair in an urban area. "It's a very good fair," he said.

The employees running the games - known in the business as "carnies" - said it was an honest fair.

"You can't have a game that's rigged," said a woman working one of the basketball shooting games, explaining that police patrolled the fairs.

With his giant pink monkey, Lancellotti bore out the carnie's claim. When asked what his favorite part of the fair was, he said "that we finally won something."

Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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