By Shannon Miller

From The Zipper to the zeppoles, Sayville’s 40th annual Summerfest kicked off Friday evening, bringing a variety of food and fun for the entire family.

As the sun set over downtown Sayville, the festival’s lights lit up Gillette Park, and fairgoers flocked to the huge array of attractions and rides, which remain open throughout the weekend.

Sayville residents Rocco Citeno and his wife Betsy are among the many Long Islanders who make sure to mark Summerfest, an event put on by the Greater Sayville Chamber of Commerce, on their calendars each year.

“We’ve been coming here for 32 years,” Rocco Citeno said, snacking on a sweet piece of Long Island Corn from Anderson’s Farm Stand in Riverhead. “I’m having a nice time; I do every year, and I enjoyed the corn. It’s great.”

Print your ride coupons here before you go. 

Corn was just one of over a dozen food vendors to choose from. Other favorite carnival snacks included sausage and peppers, burgers, dogs, turkey legs, empanadas, french fries and funnel cakes. Even Tate’s Bake Shop, a Southampton go-to spot for bakery items, was there handing out free cookies.

Scott Schultz and Allison Saliba of Bayport included Summerfest in their date night plans. They’ve been seeing each other for over a year now, according to Saliba, who was carrying two little stuffed animals under one arm and one giant stuffed raccoon under the other – prizes Schultz won for her at the milk bottle toss. 

“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, but this is our first time here together,” Schultz said.

But it wasn’t just couples and families sharing in the fun. Standing in front of a ride called “The Rock Star,” which turns and flips at excessive speed, was Kendall Squicciarini, a freshman this fall at Sayville High School. She stayed on the ground and waited, while her group of friends courageously jumped on the ride. “I’m afraid of heights,” she said, “there’s no way I’m going on that thing.”

The sound of fun and laughter was heard all the way around the corner at a packed California Closets on Main Street, where the second annual “Dress for Success” pop-up sale was taking place.

“I mean look at this; it’s amazing. Everything and anything you see here is all our merchandise for sale,” said Sharon Boyd, the program’s executive director. “All the jewelry, clothing, shoes, accessories – it’s all for sale, and all proceeds go to Dress for Success.”

Saturday at Summerfest promises guests a lengthy lineup of musical entertainment and an art show. The festivities continue on Sunday with more musical entertainment and an organized car show.

Check out the photos below of all the fun. Be sure to click on boxes 2, 3, 4 and 5 to see them all.