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The Church of the Ascension, 71 N. Village Avenue, Rockville Centre, two blocks north of Sunrise Highway, will offer its admission free "Friendship Fair" (held every two years), offering a wide range of items old ...

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ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NY - At a time this Fall when Long Island calendars are traditionally crowded with enticing community fairs, The Church of The Ascension in Rockville Centre will again offer one of the biggest of its kind - a "Friendship Fair" held at the landmark Church every two years. A wide range of items at more than fair prices are expected to attract several thousand bargain-seekers attending this year's event set for Oct. 14 and 15. The Friday and Saturday fund-raiser (first introduced as a single-day fair in the 1970's) will be held from 10 am to 9 pm both days, with admission free. The Church which celebrated its 125th anniversary last year is located two blocks north of Sunrise Highway at 71 N. Village Avenue.

As in the past, the 2011 "Friendship Fair" will offer new and used jewelry, expertly made crafts, books, toys, collectibles, and antiques -- all at inviting prices. Gourmet food and homemade baked goods, cheese, candy and other taste treats will be available, and a number of special auctions and raffles are programmed including a silent auction of antiques and collectibles to be held over the two days until mid-afternoon on Saturday with winning bids announced that afternoon. A jamboree auction scheduled both days will offer products, services, meals and high-end items donated by local merchants. There will also be a "Trash to Treasures" sale. A special voice-bid auction for weekender trips, cocktail parties and other delights gets underway at 7 pm on Saturday.

Activities appealing to youngsters will include "how-to's" in creative carving and decoration of pumpkins (and sale of pumpkins well-timed for the witches and goblins holiday period). Guided tours of the church and demonstrations of the church's highly regarded pipe organ will also be scheduled. Free musical entertainment will be offered as part of Saturday's festivities, including an appearance by a talented quartet from the Barbershop Harmony Society's local Long Island Harmonizers chorus.

Complete meals, snacks and barbecued food will be available at moderate cost both days.

Proceeds from the Fair will be used for continued upgrading of The Church of the Ascension's facilities and a portion of the monies will be directed to Episcopal Charities of Long Island in response to its annual appeal.

"The beauty and excitement of our biennial event," says Susan Panzarella,who heads the 2011 fair's steering committee, "can be summed up with the word - 'finds' -- from enticingly priced treasures including lovely antiques and beautiful glassware very much in evidence, to what may become a child's special plaything hidden at the very bottom of a box filled with toys."

Our visitors find something else at our fair as well, adds Panzarella -- "a spirit of community and a friendliness that's hard to surpass."

For more information call 516-223-5745. The church's website is at