Riverhead School District

Photos: Community Festival ‘bigger and better than ever’

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Harry Wilkinson gives children a ride on the ‘trackless train’ he built this past winter.

This past winter Harry Wilkinson of Riverhead engineered a “trackless train,” playfully dubbed the Ole Glory Express. Using a 20-horsepower lawn mower engine, Mr. Wilkinson powered his train Saturday to provide some entertainment for children.

The train was one of many attractions at the Phillips Avenue Elementary School’s Community Festival Saturday. The third-annual festival featured performances by children’s entertainer Brady Rymer and ‘The Little Band That Could.’

Money raised from the event helps fund bringing in visiting artists to the school for cultural affairs as well as funding next year’s event.

Other attractions included a bouncy house, face painting, balloon animals by teacher Kevin Carroll, rock climbing wall and music from volunteer DJ Sergio Falcones of Deer Park. The First Baptist Church’s Family Community Life Center’s volunteers cooked up some hamburgers and sausages and other goodies.

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s department gave away 200 free bike helmets, which were provided through a grant from the Governor’s traffic safety department. The sheriff’s were supposed to hold a bike rodeo to teach the children the basics of bike safety, but postponed it until the fall when the weather is cooler.

Principal Debra Rodgers said she was pleased with the turnout.

“Its bigger and better than ever,” she said. “Its an amazing opportunity to come and have fun playing together as families.”

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BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Hannah Jaccard, 5, a Phillips pre-k student of Flanders, gets her face painted by Brittany Rocco of Flanders.