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11/30/16 3:28pm
11/30/2016 3:28 PM

Big Duck_1

This week’s rainstorms have pushed back the annual “Deck the Duck” holiday lighting at the Big Duck in Flanders to Thursday night.

The 28th duck-decking event had been scheduled for tonight, Wednesday, but rain in the forecast forced a delay. The ceremony, which also features Christmas carols and the arrival of Santa by fire truck, will be held Thursday night at 7 p.m. instead

The Friends of the Big Duck will be serving some refreshments at the event, and both the Big Duck and the duck museum will be open to the public, organizers say. The Flanders Riverside and Northampton Community Association will also have a community tent with some tables promoting all of the upcoming holiday events going on in the area.

04/05/15 8:00am
04/05/2015 8:00 AM
At 14 months, Alice Wisniewski was among the youngest Easter Egg hunters in Flanders Saturday. (Credit: Michael White)

At 14 months, Alice Wisniewski was among the youngest Easter Egg hunters in Flanders Saturday. (Credit: Michael White)

Three minutes. That was about how long it took for the 40 or so children who attended Saturday’s Easter Egg hunt at the Big Duck Ranch in Flanders to scoop up 500 candy-filled eggs.  (See more photos below.) (more…)

10/17/14 8:00am
10/17/2014 8:00 AM
Friends of the Big Duck Ranch vice president Fran Cobb (from left) in the Big Duck Museum's newly renovated barn with co-curators Lisa Dabrowski and David Wilcox. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Friends of the Big Duck Ranch vice president Fran Cobb (from left) in the Big Duck Museum’s newly renovated barn with co-curators Lisa Dabrowski and David Wilcox. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

It’s an industry that once defined the area. And while duck farming has faded over the past several decades, Friends of the Big Duck are determined to keep Long Island’s history in the business alive and well in Flanders for future generations to learn about.

“Most people have no idea how large the [duck] industry was out here,” said Lisa Dabrowski, co-curator of the Big Duck Museum, which opens its doors Saturday. “I am looking forward to seeing the reaction when visitors see how inspiring the industry really was.”  (more…)

08/09/14 4:00pm
08/09/2014 4:00 PM
Luke Murphy, 19 months, of Babylon clutched a rubber duck keychain and a chocolate chip cookie as he watched the second annual Rubber Duck Race in Flanders Saturday. (Rachel Young photos)

Luke Murphy, 19 months, of Babylon clutched a rubber duck keychain and a chocolate chip cookie as he watched the second annual Rubber Duck Race in Flanders Saturday. (Credit: Rachel Young)

In a sea — wait, make that bay — of 220 rubber ducks, only one emerged as victor at Flanders’ second annual Rubber Duck Race, held Saturday afternoon on the Big Duck property. (more…)

12/05/13 3:52pm
12/05/2013 3:52 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The landmark Big Duck monument in Flanders.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The landmark Big Duck monument in Flanders.

It’s that time of year, again: Time to deck the Duck!

The annual Big Duck Holiday Lighting Ceremony will take place tonight, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. at the landmark Big Duck on Road in Flanders.

Check back for photos from the event.

The flipping of the switch, illuminating the Big Duck in Christmas lights, will also be accompanied by a visit from Santa Claus, courtesy of the Flanders Fire Department, as well as sing-along led by the Riverhead Middle School Show Choir and a visit from Quackerjack, the Mascot from the Independent League champion Long Island Ducks.

That’s according to Richard Wolfe, the assistant director of historic services for the county parks department, which is sponsoring the event along with Southampton Town’s parks and recreation department.

The lighting event is usually held on a Wednesday night, but was moved to Thursday this year due to a conflict in the Middle School choir’s schedule, Mr. Wolfe said.

“We really wanted them to be there, so we had to switch it,” he said.

Attendees will also get to see the Duck from the inside, as the Big Duck Store will be open during the ceremony.

Parking will be available on the  Flanders Mens Club property, which is adjacent to the Big Duck.

[email protected]

08/24/13 5:00pm
08/24/2013 5:00 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | 18-month-old Julianna Elefonte cheers on as the ducks near the finish line.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | 18-month-old Julianna Elefonte cheers on as the ducks near the finish line.

More than 100 people attended Flanders’ first ever Rubber Duck Race Saturday afternoon to help benefit the iconic Big Duck property.


Organized by Friends of the Big Duck, 427 bright rubber ducks were sold for $5 each with all proceeds going toward restoring a barn on the Flanders property. It will be made into a duck farming museum dedicated to the area’s early farmers.

The crowd cheered as the ducks were dropped into Flanders Bay. The ducks drifted more than 100 feet to the finish line from the bay’s gentle current.

Members of the Riverhead High School crew team helped catch the winning ducks, transporting them to a nearby dock so the winners could be called out.

While the first five winning ducks’ owners were not in attendance – there was also a prize for the last little duck, going to Colleen Franco of Manorville. The winner received $200. The last-place winner earned a Riverhead Auto Wash gift certificate.

Children enjoyed ice cream as they watched the ducks float by. In all, the race took about 10 minutes.

[email protected]

05/30/13 12:00pm
05/30/2013 12:00 PM
Flanders Flag in Hamlet

Shannon Merker, 17, is a life-long Flanders resident and McGann- Mercy High School junior.

A Flanders teenager who designed a flag for her hometown hamlet will see her creation flying high above Flanders Memorial Park later this month.

Shannon Merker, 17, a life-long Flanders resident and a McGann-Mercy High School junior has volunteered at the memorial park for eight years, and first proposed designing a flag for the Southampton Town hamlet six years ago.

Her design, a 3-by-5-foot blue and white flag featuring the landmark Big Duck and the reeds of the Peconic waterways, was adopted as the official flag of the hamlet by the Southampton Town Board on May 14.

The flag will be raised at the Flanders Road park for the first time June 11 at 10 a.m. in a ceremony to honor Shannon and the historic hamlet.