JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTOS | The Riverhead BID’s 14th annual holiday bonfire was held Saturday.
There were two new additions to this year’s 14th annual Holiday bonfire held in downtown Riverhead Saturday night: floating fire pits and snow.
Riverhead BID president Ray Pickersgill said he believes Saturday night’s bonfire was the first time in the annual event’s history that it snowed. The BID also tested floating firepits in the Peconic River and is considering purchasing dozens more for future events, he said.
Santa arrived by boat shortly after nightfall and later settled into a gingerbread house where kids waited on line eager to tell him how good they’ve been this year.
The bonfire — sponsored by the downtown Business Improvement District’s management association, Suffolk County National Bank and Blue Duck Bakery — featured free hot chocolate with whipped cream and cookies. The event was the brainchild of former councilman Ed Densieski.
Mr. Pickergill said Saturday bonfire was dedicated to the memory of Loretta Trojanowski, who died in August.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Big Duck all lit up for the holidays.
Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman quizzed the crowd at the 25th annual Big Duck lighting ceremony Thursday evening in Flanders. He discovered that the couple hundred people in attendance came from all around the East End, from the North and South Forks out to Nassau County — there was even a family from Switzerland.
For the 10th consecutive year, the Riverhead Middle School Show Choir, under the direction of Nadine Greenberg, sang holiday songs with “ducky” twists on the words such as “Have a Wacky Quacky Big Duck” to the tune of “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.”
The Flanders Fire Department, with Chief Todd Ryan, escorted Santa Claus to the Big Duck Ranch via fire truck, sirens blaring, where he flicked the switch on the lights with the help of a group of children and then stayed around to listen to Christmas wishes.
See below for more photos from Katharine Schroeder.
The Riverhead Lions Club held its annual Christmas parade on Sunday in downtown Riverhead. Hundreds of people lined Main Street as the marchers made their way from Osborn Avenue to the Peconic riverfront.
Riverhead VFW members, local scout troops and the Riverhead High School band led the way, followed by dozens of firetrucks, local dignitaries and, of course, Santa Clause with Mrs. Claus.
Following tradition, Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter presented Santa with a key to Riverhead.
The key allows Santa Christmas Eve access to houses without fireplaces.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Culinary students Kristina Caschetta (left) Anastasia DeRosa (center) and Alexa Cimino with the carved up roasted turkeys that were prepared for the Dominican Sisters Wednesday morning.
Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary School in downtown Riverhead partnered for the fourth year with the Dominican Sisters Family Health Service to cook and prepare about 140 dinners for long-term patients and home-bound seniors of the Dominican Sisters of Hampton Bays.
Local businesses on the North and South Forks teamed up to raise money for the feast.
Chef instructor Vinny Winn worked with about 40 students and high school volunteers in the culinary’s kitchen to prepare the meal. They cooked 15 turkeys weighing 15 pounds each, 100 pounds each of mashed and sweet potatoes, seven gallons of gravy and 20 pounds of stuffing. There were also rolls, cranberry sauce and 24 apple pies and 24 pumpkin pies.
Local elementary schools students made and decorated trays for the meals.
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO
About two dozen educators as well as students took to a podium at Tuesday night’s Common Core forum in Manorville to, for the most part, poke holes in the state’s rollout of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Click on the video below to see what they, and state education commissioner John King, had to say.
ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Ryan Hubbard holds the football after scoring a remarkable 84-yard touchdown on a punt return.
In a thrilling, last-second victory, the Riverhead football team won its second straight Division II county championship Friday night by defeating East Islip, 20-14. The Blue Waves got a three-touchdown game from Ryan Hubbard, who scored on offense, defense and special teams.
His 84-yard punt return for a touchdown won the game. Click here for a full recap. And click below for more photos from the championship game.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | East End Arts gallery director helps customer Craig Rosenberg pick out a wool scarf for a friend Friday morning on the first day the boutique was open. Scarf is made by Elizabeth Palmer-Buchtman of Pawling New York.
Handmade ornaments, one-of-a-kind jewelry and unique knits and crafts will be among the gifts on display at the East End Arts’ Annual Holiday Gift Boutique. An opening reception will be held today from noon to 5 p.m. in the East End Arts Gallery in Riverhead.
The event is free, open to the public and refreshments will be served.
The gallery will feature a large selection of hand-crafted heirloom ornaments. There are art-ful gifts at a wide variety of prices. All the items in the boutqie are unique creations by East End Arts member-artists. This year, 45 local artists are participating.
Guests can meet the artists at today’s reception. The boutique runs through Dec. 22. For more information, click here.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Segulls fight for real estate space along the Peconic River Tuesday.
The Riverhead area and much of eastern Long Island saw the season’s first dusting of snow Tuesday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, a cold front that swept through the area in the early morning hours resulted in a mix of rain and snow — and eventually just snow — falling over the region.
The snow persisted through the morning commute, from about 6 a.m., and tapered off about 10 a.m.
(Read more below.)
And while Nov. 12 might seem like an early date for snow, with the official start of winter still 40 days away, recent years have seen even earlier first snowfalls.
Nov. 8, 2011, marked a messy commute for Long Island motorists as well, with sleet and snow flurries falling over the area.
That figure was bested by an Oct. 29, 2011 nor’easter, which resulted in a significant amount of snowfall and a rare “white Halloween” two days later.