Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The end of June may mark the end of Long Island’s classic strawberry festivals, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty more local food-filled fairs that guarantee upcoming weekends of fun, games and deliciousness. Mark the calendar, here’s eight classic LI food fests for each month through October.Sweet Corn FestivalFor those who simply can’t get enough of Long Island’s fabulous corn, there’s the 25th annual Sweet Corn Festival at Harbes Family Farm and Vineyard in Mattituck, which will be a jam-packed weekend July 13-14. Run for the past 13 generations by the Harbes family, it includes all the corn-fest classics such as various corn-based foods, corn-eating contests, crafts and games for kids, as well as some unique attractions such as “What’s all the buzz about bees?” bee education. The Harbes’ also offer wine tasting, live music, and working border collie demonstrations for a weekend of corn-filled family fun.Long Island Animal Rights and VegFestThe Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington kicks off a day of healthy vegan fun at the Long Island Animal Rights and VegFest on Saturday, July 13. Bring animal companions on “non-retractable leashes only” to the vegan picnic to see musical performances and educational lectures. In addition to speakers like vegan Victoria Moran and animal rights activist Jenny Brown, the fellowship will be holding an art show and auction. Bring reusable water bottles and organic snacks for an enjoyable and educational afternoon.Watermelon FestivalThe the Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck and the Harbes Western Farm in Jamesport will be hosting the Long Island Watermelon Festival the weekend of August 10-11. Both locations will host watermelon-eating contests, seed-spitting contests and other family friendly games such as corn mazes and hayrides. Cool down in the hot summer sun with some fresh watermelon juice while enjoying a picnic in the beautiful fields, or listen to live musical performances by local bands.Greenlawn/Centerport Pickle FestivalThe Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association is sponsoring the 34th annual Pickle festival this September. This tradition was started in honor of Alexander Gardiner, the “pickle pioneer,” who produced enough pickles in on his farm in Greenland to supply all of New York City. Now, almost two centuries later, pickle lovers from all around the island flock to that very same farm for a taste of those famous pickled cucumbers. The festival sells not only a wide variety of pickles, but all sorts of pickle paraphernalia, from t-shirts and pickle ornaments, to pickle flavored popcorn.Long Island Wine Harvest FestivalThe Laurel Lake Vineyards will hold their annual wine harvest festival in what has become known as the “jewel of Long Island” on Sept. 22. This North Fork vineyard was founded by a group of Chilean and American friends who not only provide tours of the facility, but also offer demonstrations of the winemaking process. At this festival, attendees can clip vines, pick their own grapes or create their own bottle of wine, all before enjoying a wine-and-cheese tasting on the beautiful balcony overlooking the breathtaking scenery.Long Island Apple FestivalThe Sherwood Jayne Farm in East Setauket will once again host their Apple Festival for a day full of apple picking, cider, pies and cakes, and old fashioned games and crafts for people of all ages this fall. Bring the whole family for the apple pie baking contest and the apple relay race, or relax at a picnic table and watch the pony rides and face painting. Suffolk County PumpkinfestCornell Cooperative Extension sponsors a Pumpkinfest every September at the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank, where families can come pick and paint their own pumpkins, play in the corn maze, go on wagon and pony rides, and enjoy other children’s crafts and activities. Other events include farm trivia games, a parent calling contest and cow chip bingo. Not only is this fair fun for family and friends, but the funds also go to benefit educational programs at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Suffolk County.Oyster FestivalThis October marks the 30th anniversary of the Oyster Bay Oyster Fest. Starting with the annual parade honoring Teddy Roosevelt, this festival has evolved into the largest outdoor festival on Long Island. Each year the Oyster Bay streets are filled with live entertainment, artisan booths, gigantic ships docked in the bay and of course, the famous local oysters cooked every which way imaginable. Or raw, as usual.
That’s more like it.Sheldon Keefe’s debut game as head coach of the Maple Leafs couldn’t have gone any better as Toronto cruised to a much-needed 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., Thursday night. All eyes were on Keefe’s lineup decisions as the Leafs headed into Thursday’s game mired in a six-game losing streak that cost previous coach Mike Babcock his job, and the players responded. Tyson Barrie, Pierre Engvall and Auston Matthews each scored goals as the free-flowing Leafs outshot the home team 32-31.MORE: What exactly is the Kyle Dubas-Sheldon Keefe connection?Perhaps most impressive was the way the Leafs protected the puck, allowing just four giveaways over the course of the game (the Coyotes had 13). Careless play while in possession was a hallmark of the Leafs’ struggles in recent weeks, so the team’s ability to hold onto the puck — while also successfully killing off all three penalties on the night — was a step in the right direction.Toronto improved to 10-10-4 on the season with the victory.Here are three takeaways from Thursday’s game.Keefe’s LeafsIt was apparent from the morning skate that the new bench boss would be changing things up a bit, as Keefe implemented several changes ahead of Thursday’s contest. At game time, there were some notable differences in the Leafs’ lineup from Mike Babcock’s final game in charge. Ilya Mikheyev joined the top line alongside John Tavares and Zach Hyman, Tyson Barrie started alongside Morgan Rielly on the blue line, Jason Spezza moved up to the third line, Pierre Engvall made his NHL debut and Nick Shore sat after playing in 18 straight games.Here’s how the Leafs line up tonight.Presented by @cocacola_ca. #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/N47iQLh3F5— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 22, 2019The players seemed to immediately respond to the new-look lineup, coming out of the gates with much more of a jump than had been seen in weeks. And with Barrie’s first-period opener, the team held an advantage on the scoreboard for the first time in nearly 450 minutes of action.This is the #Leafs first lead in 446:47 of action— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) November 22, 2019Barrie, the bomber?Speaking of Tyson Barrie, the defenseman’s goal was his first in a Toronto uniform, and it couldn’t have come any sooner.The 28-year-old’s struggles with the Babcock-led Maple Leafs have been well-documented, with Barrie telling the media earlier this month that his lack of offensive output had been weighing on him. While Barrie never placed his woes on Babcock, the former Colorado Avalanche standout’s time as an offensive catalyst diminished during the 23 games that the now-fired coach was in charge this season.With Keefe taking the reins, Barrie was immediately given more offensive responsibility, including a move to the top power play unit.His first Leaf goal came at even-strength, but it may not be a coincidence that Keefe’s vote of confidence in Barrie’s abilities allowed the beleaguered blueliner to get a goal in his first opportunity under the new boss.Familiarity breeds successWhile the coach was making his NHL debut on Thursday, Pierre Engvall was stepping into his second game in the big leagues.Engvall’s maiden contest was on Tuesday under Babcock, when he played 14 shifts for 9:27 of ice time but didn’t have much of an impact. It’s to be expected for a young, non-superstar player making his debut well into the season — you take what you can get and just hope to feel things out quickly.Babcock’s exit meant Engvall fortuitously skipped over the “getting to know you” phase with his coach as Keefe was already intimately familiar with what the 23-year-old could do thanks to their time together with the Marlies. That familiarity became apparent in the second period when Engvall was deployed on the penalty kill after William Nylander was sent to the box for high-sticking. Engvall’s speed in transition is something that Keefe had used strategically in the AHL, and his gamble to do so on the PK at the NHL level paid immediate dividends as the Swede collected the puck at the Leafs’ blue line and left the Coyotes players in his wake en route to his first-ever NHL tally — a shorthanded goal to boot.Engvall’s finish was worthy of the big leagues, but he might need to put in some work on his celebrations.