Woodside summer festival entertains crowds with live music, chili contest

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Thousands walked along Woodside Avenue to hear the live music, sample neighborhood chili recipes and jump around in inflatable castles during the 19th-annual Woodside on the Move Summer Street Festival Saturday.

“I’m so happy. The weather turned out great,” said Christine Pastorino, office manager for Woodside on the Move. “I think we had a really good crowd this time.”

Despite a rainy Friday evening, the sun was shining and the skies were clear the next day for the yearly event, which took place on Woodside Avenue between 59th and 64th streets from noon to 6 p.m. As always, the festival featured a wide variety of vendors selling everything from clothing to figurines. Woodside on the Move itself set up a flea market, as well.

Many vendors also sold foods, drinks and desserts. One of the most popular stands was Ottomanelli & Sons Prime Meat Shop & Wild Game, which sold burgers, soda and water for $1 each. The stand often had some of the longest lines.

“The hamburgers are fantastic,” Jacqueline Binder-Lopez said. She sold cupcakes and other desserts from her two-month-old store Dolly’s Sweet Shop.

A huge food attraction was the chili contest, the first Woodside on the Move has ever held. Woodside Avenue restaurants Cuckoo’s Nest and Woodside Cafe, Roosevelt Avenue restaurant La Flor and Skillman Avenue’s Copper Kettle all put their chili up for festival-goers’ votes. Those who wanted to try paid $3 to sample each and pick which ones they liked the best, said Lavern Mason-Howard, director of business, community and cultural services for Woodside on the Move.

“People like the idea of the new contest,” said Gilson Corderio, chef from the Copper Kettle.

La Flor, at 53-02 Roosevelt Ave., ´╗┐was named the winner, taking 21 out of 63 votes, Mason-Howard said. Cuckoo’s Next came in second with 20 votes.

Musicians played on a stage set up at 63rd Street and Woodside Avenue, performing all types of songs. The band Tony K. and The Boardwalk played 1950s-style rock ’n’ roll while singer/guitarist Stanley Wu played more recent hits. For the kids, multiple bouncy castles were set up along 61st Street between Woodside and Roosevelt avenues. A face-painting stand was also set up nearby.

“You can’t ask for anything more than a beautiful summer day on Woodside Avenue on the Woodside on the Move street fair,” City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 11:30 am, October 12, 2011
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