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Recreation Commission celebrates annual Summerfest

From left, Lily Breitfelder from Rye, and Samaira and Amaya Ahuja, who came to visit Breitfelder from Connecticut close out the summer on Sunday, Sept. 3 at Rye Recreation Park.

The Rye Recreation Commission kicked off its 24th annual Summerfest during a cloudy Sunday afternoon, signifying the final days of summer.

On Sept. 3, children of all ages were encouraged to come out to Rye Recreation Park on Midland Avenue to enjoy an afternoon of fun activities including potato sack races, water balloon tosses and games of cornhole.

“It’s all about bringing the community together,” said Lisa Dempsey, a member of the city Recreation Commission.

When children weren’t enjoying the field day activities, they were encouraged to get their faces painted and to participate in The Marison “Grandma” Kirby Memorial Peanut Scramble.

Wrapping up the outdoor activities was a hands-free ice cream eating contest, courtesy of Longford’s Own-Made Ice Cream, won by John Breitfelder, of Rye.

John, who came out with his father Matthew Breitfelder and his sister, explained that he loves ice cream, and attributed his ice cream contest victory to skill.

Matthew Breitfelder explained that his family had moved to Rye a month ago, and felt the event was a way for his family to get to know the community.

“I liked how there was so many people, and it was just all really happy, and [there] was a lot of people having a good time,” John said.

Visitors of all ages compete in Summerfest’s Mrs. Byrnes-Mrs. West Memorial Water Balloon Toss. Photos/Taylor Brown

Along with the activities, visitors could enjoy hot dogs donated by Kelly’s Sea Level by making a donation to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Douglas Carey, director of Summerfest, said they raised more than $200 in donations, and that the money will be donated to The Starbucks Foundation, which is accepting money on behalf of the American Red Cross.

Carey said that despite the weather he “thought it was a very enthusiastic turnout.”

Summerfest concluded with music from the Reddy Valentino Orchestra and the recognizing of longtime resident Ralph Vellone as the Summerfest 2017 honoree.

“All of our volunteers and everyone who came were very positive,” Carey said, “and had a great time both outdoors and indoors.”

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