Get Into The Spirit! 2018 Local Holiday Events 217

The Holidays are fast approaching and celebrations start soon across Suffolk County.  Communities will host parades, festivals, tree lighting ceremonies and more. Add additional Magic to your Holiday Season by attending these local events with friends and family!



WHEN November 18th, 6 p.m.

WHAT Santa captains his own vessel acting as the caboose to a dozen long trolley of fantastically adorned boats draped in holiday lights and decorations.  The theme of this year’s Patchogue Village Christmas Holiday Boat Parade is “A Cartoon Christmas.” A preview of the boats and “People’s Choice Award” contest will be held on Saturday, November 17th from 5-9 p.m. at the Off Key Tikki.

WHERE Patchogue River waterfront.  Viewing locations are available at Drift 82, Off Key Tikki, The Oar Steak & Seafood Grill, Harbor Crab as well as the ferry terminals.

INFO 631-804-0595,, free event



WHEN November 24th, 6 p.m.

WHAT The Village of Patchogue Christmas Parade comes to Main Street again!  The theme this year is “Christmas at the Movies.”  Join Patchogue Village as it welcomes Santa to Main Street.  Be sure to stick around after the parade for the annual tree lighting at Capital One Plaza.

WHERE Main Street in Patchogue, from West Avenue to Rider Avenue

INFO 631-475-4302



WHEN November 24th, 4 p.m.

WHAT The Montauk Historical Society decorates the lighthouse for the holidays. Includes holiday music, caroling and an appearance by Santa.

WHERE 2000 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954




WHEN December 1st, 4:15 p.m.

WHAT  Belmont Lake State Park will host its annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony. This popular holiday event includes an ice sculptor, holiday songs sung by the North Babylon School District elementary school chorus, magic show, and more! All activities are free. The tree will be lit by Santa immediately followed by a fireworks display.

WHERE 625 Belmont Avenue, West Babylon

INFO 631-667-5055, Click here for more info, free.



WHEN Weekends and select weekdays from November 23rd to December 23rd

WHAT Families can take a trolley ride to the North Pole. On the way listen to a reading of The Polar Express and interact with movie characters. Upon arrival at the “North Pole”, you will disembark the trolley and visit with Santa!

WHERE North Fork trips depart from The All-Star Bowling Alley, 96 Main Road, Riverhead, (Route 25/County Route 58 just west of route 105).   South Fork trips depart from The Omni, Hampton Jitney Terminal, Southampton, (County Route 39A, 9/10’s of a mile east of the 7-11 in Southampton).

INFO 631-369-3031, $55 a person, tickets available at



WHEN December 1st, two dinner times 6 p.m. and 8 p.m

WHAT Dine where Hollywood stars and European royalty once dined with members of one of America’s most famous families. The grand mansion – listed on the National Register of Historic Places – is decorated for the holidays each year by local designers and garden clubs, adding charm and magic to this exclusive evening. Tickets include a guided tour of the Vanderbilt Museum.

WHERE 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport

INFO 631-854-5579, Clink for Event Info, $135 a person, $125 for members, reservations required.



WHEN December 9th, 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.

WHAT See Santa riding in a horse-drawn carriage to the Peconic riverfront. Enjoy Holiday music, hot cocoa and free candy canes.

WHERE Behind the East End Arts Building, 133 E. Main Street, Riverhead

INFO 631-591-0722,, free event!



Photo Credit: Patchogue Chamber of Commerce

WHEN New Year’s Eve, beginning at 8 p.m.

WHAT Gather on Main Street, to usher in the New Year with great food and drinks; music and dancing; Fireworks display by Grucci Fireworks; and, in the center of it all, the specially designed Patchogue New Year’s Eve ball that will help us to count down to 2019.

WHERE Main Street, Patchogue

INFO  631-207-1000,

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Coding and Makerspace at South Country School 76

Coding and Makerspace at the Verne W. Critz Library

 South Country Central School District libraries are no longer a place to just hear a story and select a book. The district’s librarians have been teaching crucial technology skills that will help prepare students for the 21st Century workplace. Verne W. Critz librarian Lynn Cullen explained that in addition to lessons in research, students are now learning basic coding skills and are inventing and creating in Makerspace labs.

At Verne W. Critz Elementary School, students are afforded the opportunity for hands-on activities that require critical thinking skills, problem-solving and collaborative team work. Ms. Cullen, along with the support of Principal Mandy Mazziotti, have furnished the library with engaging products such as PowerClix, Brix, K’nex, Keva, Squigz and IO blocks. The library will soon introduce modular robotics called Cubelets.

During a recent trip to the library, second grade students collaborated to design an incline plane with Keva wood planks, which allowed a ball to travel without falling off-course. Not only did the students use teamwork to design their course, they utilized science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics principles to acquire their results.

Verne W. Critz Elementary School students worked in the school library with Keva wood planks and used STEAM principles


Photo courtesy of the South Country Central School District

Town Receives Tree City Growth Award 46

Brookhaven Town Receives Tree City Growth Award from Arbor Day Foundation

Town has earned Tree City Designation for Four Consecutive Years

Farmingville, NY – Brookhaven Town has for the fourth consecutive year been designated a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation, and in recognition of its ongoing successful tree programs, the Town has this year also earned the “Tree City Growth Award.” Brookhaven spends over $1.4 million per year on community forestry programs. Pictured left to right are New York State DEC Supervising Forester John D. Wernet; Councilman Kevin LaValle; Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright; Councilwoman Jane Bonner; Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilman Dan Panico; Councilman Neil Foley; Councilman Michael Loguercio; and Town Clerk Donna Lent.

Supervisor Romaine said, “I am proud to have the Town recognized as a Tree City USA. We have given away and planted thousands of trees and strictly controlled the clearing of trees across Brookhaven to help protect and preserve the environment. I thank the Arbor Day Foundation for honoring the Town and all the residents who have followed our lead to make Brookhaven a greener place to live.”

Superintendent of Highways Dan Losquadro said, “The preservation of healthy trees is a priority of the Brookhaven Highway Department. In instances when trees were planted too close to the Town Right-Of-Way (ROW) and roots were growing into the roadway, we remove the trees and replace them with street-friendly trees, planted the appropriate distance from the road.”

Tree City USA is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, benefits of a Tree City USA program include:

  • Reduce costs for energy, stormwater management, and erosion control
  • Cut energy consumption by up to 25%
  • Boost property values across your community
  • Build stronger ties to your neighborhood and community

Growth Award

The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects as well as increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. It also provides an opportunity to share new ideas and successes across the country. More information about the Arbor Day Foundation can be found at

Growth Awards are given to communities that have earned the Tree City designation for at least two consecutive years and:

  • Engage in education and public relations programs on the importance of planting trees in their community, and
  • Create partnerships with utilities, Green Industry Partners or other organizations
 Photo Courtesy of Town of Brookhaven

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