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Fall Festival coming to Victory Field in Woodhaven’s Forest Park

Oct. 19, 2023 By Anthony Medina

Fall foliage has arrived in Queens and next weekend at Victory Field in Forest Park, Council Member Joann Ariola and the Detective Brian “Smiles” Simonsen Foundation will celebrate the season with a Fall Festival in Woodhaven.

On Saturday, Oct. 28, Victory Field will be transformed into a fair with a selection of rides, games, arts and crafts and sweet treats up for grabs from noon to 3 p.m. This year’s event will also have pumpkin picking and a pet costume contest. 

“I’m honored to help uphold this beautiful fall tradition that draws as many as 5,000 visitors each year. In addition to the music, rides, games and treats, this year is special because we will be introducing a free pet costume contest, so bring your four-legged friends along dressed in their Halloween best,” Ariola said. 

This year’s festival is a collaboration with the Detective Brian “Smiles” Simonsen Foundation. The foundation is named in honor of NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen, a 19-year veteran who was shot and killed due to friendly fire while in the line of duty on Feb. 12, 2019. Simonsen was responding to a robbery at a Queens T-Mobile store when he was fatally shot. 

According to the foundation, Simonsen was nicknamed “Smiles” for his contagious grin, cheerful disposition and ability to positively influence everyone he met. He spent his entire career at the 102nd Precinct and the foundation’s mission remains focused on keeping Simonsen’s legacy alive through doing good deeds and spreading smiles. 

“This year is also special because we will be partnering with the Brian ‘Smiles’ Simonsen Foundation, which annually hosts events to benefit the Queens communities that Detective Simonsen once served,” Ariola added. 

Also a fierce animal lover, the Detective Brian “Smiles” Simonsen Foundation supports animal rescue facilities, which only furthers participation in this year’s pet costume contest. 

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