12/14/13 7:38pm
12/14/2013 7:38 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTOS | The Riverhead BID's 14th annual holiday bonfire was held Saturday.

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.

jennifer@timesreview.com

12/06/13 9:00am
12/06/2013 9:00 AM

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.

12/01/13 3:27pm
See below for more photos from Katharine Schroeder.

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.

11/28/13 7:52am
11/28/2013 7:52 AM

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.

11/23/13 9:43am
11/23/2013 9:43 AM

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.

Hubbard TD on Make A Gif

11/16/13 10:00am
11/16/2013 10:00 AM

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.

11/12/13 11:01am
11/12/2013 11:01 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Segulls fight for real estate space along the Peconic River Tuesday.

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.

11/11/13 1:43pm
11/11/2013 1:43 PM
American Legion commander Mike Pankowski and Ladies Auxillary vice president Darlene Folkes place the wreaths at the War Memorial Monday morning.

BARBARELLEN KOCH PHOTO | American Legion commander Mike Pankowski and Ladies Auxillary vice president Darlene Folkes place the wreaths at the War Memorial ceremonies Monday morning.

The town’s Veterans Day ceremony was held Monday at 11 a.m. at the War Memorial on the grounds of the Suffolk County Historical Society.

The memorial was first erected in front of the former historical society building at the northwest corner of Main Street and Griffing Avenue and dedicated by Col. Theodore Roosevelt of Oyster Bay in 1920. (Son of Teddy Roosevelt.) Several thousand people attended the 1920 event.

The memorial, made of a granite block, features a bronze plaque that lists the names of 306 men from the Town of Riverhead who served in World War I.

The memorial was moved in 1926 to the current historical society building from its previous location on Griffing Avenue.

Councilman John Dunleavy was the keynote speaker for Mondays ceremony.

Below is a transcript of his speech:

Reverend Clergy, gold star parents and loved ones, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen and my fellow veterans of our country,

Today marks the 94th year that we Americans gather together to commemorate and celebrate – all heroes – past and present, who have worn the uniform of our great country. For it was in 1919, exactly 94 years ago that President Woodrow Wilson, the Senate and Congress set aside this date as a thankful nation pays honored homage to all veterans of all branches of our military … the Army, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and my branch – the U.S. Navy.

This day was not set aside as a “Bargain Day” for shopping centers …. but was set aside for keeping our part of the “Bargain” …. Offering humble salute and thanks to all those who served – whether serving in war or serving in peace.

While each American has the hard earned freedom to commemorate and celebrate Veterans Day each in their own way …. we must never, ever forget the soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors who make that freedom possible. It is our duty, our mission to honor our veterans, who honored us with their service – their sacrifice.

I join with you in thanking the good Lord everyday that since 1776, young men and women have always stepped forward in service to our country. From the War of Independence through World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and in the troubled war torn Middle East, America is blessed with the very best.

In drafting and preparing my remarks for today, Veterans Day, I was continually drawn to the words of Lincoln …. next Tuesday, November 19th, just 8 days from today, will mark the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Lincoln’s words from that cold, cloudy day exactly 150 years ago reach out and touch us today …. permit me to paraphrase Lincoln at Gettysburg by saying …. ‘It is for us the living to be dedicated here to the unfinished work of all veterans’.

In closing, I offer this …. if the great George Washington did not fear to kneel in the snow at Valley Forge to pray for his troops and the future of America …. we must then not fear to kneel in the comfort of today and humbly ask again that …. God Bless America and may God Bless all who have worn the uniform.

Thank you.

John Dunleavy