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Competition for Delfino Park Grills Heats Up

Sunlight glistened across the happy birthday signs strung around the trees at the Campos' cookout site. However, the sun had barely risen when a Campos arrived at Delfino Park in White Plains to stake out one of the park’s three grills for a 25th birthday party.

So while the baseball fields and playgrounds at the park,named for the late brother of former White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino, are hotly contested battlegrounds, some days none are more contested than gaining access to a grill.

“My cousin got here at six a.m. and it was all full, so we brought our own grill,” said Edwin Campos, whose cousin lives right next to Delfino Park. “We’ve been having this party for 24 years right here. It’s a nice, quiet spot.”

Two other Memorial Day weekend barbecues gathered around smoking grills at Delfino Park. Sizzling meat and side dishes were abundant. However grills and picnic tables were in short supply.

Summer holidays always intensify the competition for Delfino Park barbecue spots, according to Yvelise Campos, a lifeguard from the Bronx.

“They need more tables so everyone’s not fighting over them,” said Campos, while waiting for 40 birthday party attendees to arrive and enjoy the hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, and Puerto Rican style rice and beans.

A few feet away, Ernie Taylor and Rod Fuller placed plates around a row of picnic tables they had secured at five in the morning.

“They need more grills, put that down twice,” said Taylor as he prepared for his Memorial Day party’s 50 guests. “It’s been that way for years.”

Taylor said they were going all out on the spread, which included steak and peppers, ribs, chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs.

"We've been waiting for this weather a long time," said Taylor.

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