PHOTO: Winnie Granr and Debbie Schankweiler – Mastering the Art of Cotton Candy.

As the saying goes, “it takes a village,” and so the Ocean Bay Park community came together on Saturday, June 24, for our first official Block Party. Everyone had their fingers crossed as the preceding days were rainy and gloomy, but the weather cooperated and the event went off as planned. The party was set up on the four corners of Ocean Bay Boulevard and Midway, and in true block party fashion, beach chairs lined the street. A corn hole tournament kicked off the festivities and there were all sorts of carnival type games, face painting and temporary tattoos for the kids. There was a barbecue with hamburgers and hot dogs, cold drinks, and a cupcake decorating stand. I think every kid (and some adults) in OBP ended the day with a sugar high from the cotton candy, snow cones and cupcakes. We also unveiled the new OBP T-shirts, which were a big hit and are still available. One of my favorite moments was watching Winnie Grant teaching Debbie Schankweiler how to spin the sugar and make a cotton candy cone. I had a flashback to the “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy and Ethel are working in the chocolate factory! Kudos and thank you to all those who donated and worked so hard to make this event such a success and here’s to Ocean Bay Park who once again proved it’s the best town on Fire Island.

Next up from the Community Activities and Events Committee is the OBP Art, House and Garden Tour to be held on Saturday, July 15. All ticket holders will be provided with a town map designating participating homeowners and an entry hand stamp. It’s a great opportunity to meet OBP homeowners, make some new friends and see some unique gardens and artwork.

I know it’s early in the summer, but before you know it, it will be Labor Day. So calling all kids who are aspiring thespians to get ready to audition for a role in this year’s Shakespeare in the Park. The actual date of the auditions is still to be determined but it is traditionally towards the end of July. The production this year is “As You Like It” and will take place on the Friday and Sunday of the Labor Day Weekend. This year we have two female co-directors: OBP’s Matilde Ledger and Seaview’s Elsie Michaelson. Once again acclaimed actor, author and playwright, Seaview’s John Jiler, will write the script and condense three hours of Shakespeare into a one hour play. John will then be off to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he is presenting and performing his latest play “The Rosenberg/Strange Fruit Project” at the Edinburgh Festival. The play tells the story of the youngest child of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who following their execution for espionage during World War II, was adopted by the man who wrote the Billie Holiday classic “Strange Fruit.” John performs his play accompanied by clarinetist, Lee Odom.

I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4 holiday. Thank you to all who serve and never forget that we are the land of the free because of the brave.