The Big Duck all prepped for 7 p.m. lighting ceremony

12/16/2010 11:42 AM |

The lights are strung. The hot chocolate is stocked. And santa is lacing up his boots.

The annual Big Duck lighting ceremony is on for 7 p.m. tonight in Flanders.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy will host the annual event, which was originally scheduled for Dec.1 but was canceled due to inclement weather. He’ll be joined by Flanders firefighters, local school children and “a special guest from up north,” Mr. Levy said.

The popular event was expected to be canceled altogether — although the duck building has been decorated and lit up nightly since after Thanksgiving — but Mr. Levy insisted on holding it.

The Route 24 building and property is owned by the county parks department.

“Inclement weather should not prevent us from celebrating this uniquely Long Island holiday tradition,” he said. “We look forward to the official lighting of the Big Duck in the company of our family, friends and a special guest from up north.”

The Big Duck, a remnant of early 20th century roadside architecture, was built in 1931 as a tribute to Long Island duck farming, which was prevalent in the region. It has since has become an East End landmark. The duck-shaped building is on the national Register of Historic Places. The Big Duck, which houses a gift shop, draws thousands of tourists each year, county officials said.

Directions from points west: I-495/Long Island Expressway, Exit 71. Turn right at CR-94 East/Edwards Ave/RT-24 East for 4.3 mi. At traffic circle, take the 3rd exit onto Flanders Rd/RT-24 East 2.4 mi. Duck is on the left.

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