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Bayside Historical Society gets ready for St. Pat’s Day

The Bayside Historical Society will host its second annual Irish-themed event next week at Fort Totten that will include musical and dance performances to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. March 18 at the historical society’s headquarters at 208 Totten Ave. within Bayside’s Fort Totten Park. There is a suggested $5 donation to attend the celebration.

“I think everything we do has a cultural and historical intent,” said Paul Di Benedetto, vice president of the historical society. “There’s a good amount of folk in the neighborhood who enjoy Irish culture and the dances.”

The Bayside Glee Club and dancers from the Ryan Irish Dance Academy, which includes a former cast member from the Broadway sensation “Riverdance,” will perform at the event, which will have viewings of photos and other items from the society’s archives.

Attendees will be able to sample Irish soda bread and other refreshments will be served. To reserve in advance, call 718-352-1548 or visit baysidehistorical.org.

The group’s officers and new board members will be sworn in during the event, which will likely be attended by state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose), former City Councilman Tony Avella and representatives of the city Cultural Affairs Department.

“We try to do monthly programming here,” said Jennifer Dullahan, a spokeswoman for the society. “We hope for a fairly good turnout.”

The society will also open a new exhibit May 2 titled “The Women of Bayside,” a celebration of the achievements of women from the community during the past 200 years.

The group will highlight 20 local women who contributed to Bayside through volunteering, business ventures or professional accomplishments.

A visual art contest for students in school Districts 25 and 26 will be held in conjunction with the exhibit. Students will choose a woman featured in the display or pick a local woman in the community who has inspired them and then write a short essay about them.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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