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Chappaqua's First Fall Festival Draws Large Crowds

CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. -- Sheep, apple pie and a hayride were among the highlights of the Chappaqua-Millwood Chamber of Commerce's first annual Fall Festival on Saturday.

A few thousand people crowded the streets and sidewalks of downtown Chappaqua to buy pumpkins and mums, get their faces painted, enjoy the petting zoo, climb aboard a fire engine, listen to music, buy jewelry, sip hot apple cider and eat cotton candy, sausages and cupcakes.

Many families rode down the streets on Chappaqua's first hayride and others drove bumper cars near Bell Middle School.

One of the more popular events was the doughnut-eating contest. Ten-year-old Daniel Greenstein emerged victorious after eating four doughnuts faster than his competitors. "I picked it up and squeezed it to help it break down then I shoved it in my mouth and broke it down more with my teeth." The Seven Bridges fifth-grader was proud of his win but said he won't be eating another doughnut for a while. "At first I felt good but then my stomach hurt a little."

Fourteen residents entered the apple pie-baking contest. The winner was Teresa Shen and the runners up were Maggie Christ and Paula Kurth.

Some local politicians, Assembly members Robert Castelli (R,C-Goldens Bridge), Senate hopeful Justin Wagner (D), Congressional hopeful Joe Carvin (R) and Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison) shook hands and passed out flyers. Even Chappaqua's most famous residents, Bill and Hillary Clinton, strolled along the downtown area and shook some neighbors' hands.

Several of the merchants used the opportunity to raise awareness and money for good causes as well: Salon 228 raised money for "Pink Hair For Hope and Breast Cancer Research," "The Foundation Fighting Blindness" sold lemonade, Bracelet Paradise raised money for several charities, "The Smile Train" sold baked goods and bracelets for its cause and Kendall's OM Kitchen ran a food drive.

While many of the town's merchants participated in the festival, a few sponsored some of the larger events and activities: ICD Contemporary Jewelry sponsored the pumpkin patch, King Street Restaurant and Bar sponsored the hayride, Houlihan Lawrence ran the dragon slide, Get Reel Productions and Quaker Hill Tavern sponsored the bumper cars, Kendall's OM Kitchen ran the petting zoo, WeeZee sponsored the obstacle course, Korth & Shannahan Painting subsidized pumpkin painting, Chappaqua Paint & Hardware sponsored face painting and Prudential Douglas Elliman sponsored the jumping castle.

Rob Greenstein, chamber president, said the merchants and residents were happy with the inaugural festival. "You can't ask for more than that. The sidewalks were packed, which was our goal."

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