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Forest Hills turns out for 63rd Drive Festival despite rain

The brief but fierce rains that drenched the city Friday night parted in time for the 63rd Drive Festival in Forest Hills Saturday.

The street fair, which encompassed four blocks of 63rd Drive between Queens Boulevard and Austin Street, boasted more than 200 vendors offering merchandise including T−shirts, international music and discount toys. Food offerings ranged from candy apples to sausages and Colombian grilled beef.

Children from the neighborhood also took advantage of the three bounce houses and the inflatable slide set up near Austin Street, giving their parents a few moments to enjoy their food.

As they scarfed down a spicy Italian sausage in a bun, Rego Park residents Jason Worrell, 39, and his wife, Evelyn, 32, said the best part of the fair is “watching the children have fun.”

“It lets them burn off the energy so they’re ready to sleep when they go home,” Jason Worrell said.

Forest Hills resident Emerald Senova, 33, said the fair gives her a chance to let her 5−year−old son, Michael, play while letting her meet friends and get a little shopping done.

“There are good prices for the toys and kitchen stuff,” she said.

Elsewhere, among the fried treats and houseplants, members of the Queens chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America staffed a booth offering outreach to veterans of all conflicts.

“Primarily we’re here to give information to veterans that don’t know what their entitlements are,” said member Frank Caruso, 60, noting the group is hosting a Veterans Information Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 16 at 93−29 Queens Blvd.

But Caruso said the group also usually sells a few U.S. military−themed baseball caps at the events.

“It’s to raise donations,” he said.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

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