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Fall Festival draws hundreds to Woodhaven’s Forest Park

Nov. 1, 2023 By Anthony Medina

Council Member Joann Ariola and the Detective Brian “Smiles” Simonsen Foundation celebrated the peak of the Halloween season with a Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 28, in Woodhaven

Hundreds of parents, kids, and furry pals participated in a full afternoon of a selection of rides, games, arts and crafts, and sweet treats up for grabs at Victory Field in Forest Park. This year’s event also had pumpkin picking, a pet costume contest and a cornfield maze with hay bails, best used for photos.   

“This was a great event and I am looking forward to this costume contest becoming another tradition every fall,” said Ariola. “It was amazing to see how the community really came out and participated in the fun.”

The Fall Festival welcomed a gallery of officers NYPD, who all came together to honor the life of Det. Brian “Smiles” Simonsen. The foundation, 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, helped bring together civic groups, elected officials and members of the NYPD. 

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. 

Also a fierce animal lover, the Detective Brian “Smiles” Simonsen Foundation supports animal rescue facilities, which only furthered participation in this year’s pet costume contest. The winner for this year was a dog named Luna, who was dressed as a Cow. Luna’s pet parents received candy and a $20 gift card to Petco. 

See photos from the Fall Festival below.

Hay bails carefully placed with scarecrows and pumpkins for photo opportunities. Photo by Anthony Medina

Dressed as a princess, this dog made for a fierce contender in the pet costume contest. Photo by Anthony Medina

Joining the Fall festivities were civic leaders and groups such as Community Board 9 and the Woodhaven Residents Block Association. Photo by Anthony Medina

A small corn field maze turned the normally dull area of Victory Field into a fun fall themed place for Fall photos. Photo by Anthony Medina

This well-trained pooch say on top of the hay bails just long enough to pose for a photo for his dog Mom. Photo by Anthony Medina

These two dogs seemed to enjoy pretending to be a lion for the day. Photo by Anthony Medina

Music and dancing also provided the Fall Festival with bursts of energy throughout the afternoon. Photo by Anthony Medina

The Department of Parks and Recreation were also present with some DIY crafts for Fall Festival attendees. Photo by Anthony Medina

Bounce houses and a climbing wall were some of the main attractions for children at the Councilwoman’s Fall Festival. Photo by Anthony Medina

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