12/02/12 5:18pm
12/02/2012 5:18 PM

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Santa waves hello to the crowd during Sunday’s annual Lions Club Christmas Parade.

The annual Riverhead Lions Club Christmas Parade went off without a hitch Sunday afternoon as firefighters, girl scout troops and Santa himself marched down Main Street on the balmy December afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Local girl and boy scouts troops marched in the parade Sunday afternoon.

The parade, a decades-old tradition, kicked off at 1 p.m., with the Riverhead Veterans of Foreign Wars, government leaders and the high school marching band leading the march along Main Street.

The Riverhead Fire Department and ambulance corps volunteers followed behind, with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the end of the parade waving to excited children in the crowd.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | The Riverhead High School marching band played holiday tunes as they made their way down Main Street.

After the parade, Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter handed Mr. and Mrs. Claus the giant “Key to Riverhead,” saying that Santa could now get into houses without chimneys to deliver presents to the good boys and girls in town.

See our photo gallery below for more photos from the parade:

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | 3-year-old Jalice Mitchell talks to Santa for the first time at the annual Riverhead Lions Club Christmas Parade.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead veterans lead the annual Santa parade down Main Street Sunday afternoon.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Dancers with the New York Dance Center in Calverton perform at the Christmas parade Sunday.

PAUL SQUIRE PHOTO | Riverhead fire trucks finish up the parade route on the Peconic Riverfront Sunday afternoon.

12/01/12 4:30pm
12/01/2012 4:30 PM

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Nancy Reyer and her mom Evelyn Reyer stopped downtown to see what her friend Allison Pressler, right, was up to and were surprised to find that the theme of the Riverhead High School Interact Club was dedicated to Nancy’s son Michael Hubbard and New Beginnings Brendan House Saturday afternoon.

It was a damp, chilly overcast day in downtown Riverhead Saturday, but inside the windows of the vacant storefronts, downtown was abuzz with activity.

East End Arts’ third annual Holiday Window Decorating Contest brought community and artist groups downtown to put a cheerful face on downtown’s pallid shopping scene.

The Peconic Community School, a new alternative school in downtown Riverhead, got a jump-start on the festivities Friday, decorating a window on the southeast side of downtown with a diorama depicting Grangebel Park and the River & Roots Community Garden, where students often do work on field trips.

Not far to the west, People for the Ethical Treatment of Elves, who last year won the contest with their “Occupy North Pole” display, were hatching a new plan: “Curiosity’s Christmas,” a depiction of Christmas on Mars with a full-size alien in a Santa Claus suit. Marvin the Martian, Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons and characters from Dr. Who were also planned for the windows.

This year, said Lauren Sisson, whose husband Mark Sisson hatched the idea, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Elves had morphed into the “Society of Alien, Non-human, Terrestrial and Android Clauses.”

Next door, 12-year olds Julia Eager and Evelyn Jaffe were decorating their window with the theme of “Arctic Foxes,” a forest Christmas party for wild animals.

The two hatched their plan after being involved with River & Roots Community Garden’s window last year.

“My mom brought home an application a while ago, but it took us a million years to get an idea,” said Evelyn.

Julia had just returned from a 10-day vacation to Boston, where she drew pictures of birds that she was now painting to add to the winter scene.

Not far down the street, Amie Kennedy was decorating the community garden’s window with a simple painting of tree and a message of peace.

“[River & Roots co-founder] Amy Davidson wanted to do something simple this year,” said Ms. Kennedy.

Sharing their window was a group of friends of Michael Hubbard, a Riverhead High School student who was badly burned in an accident two years ago.

Their window, titled “Michael’s Dream,” depicts “Brendan’s House,” a long-term care center for kids facing the same hurdles as Michael, in a house to be renovated on Sound Ave. in Northville.

Students from Riverhead Rotary’s Interact Club at Riverhead High School were decorating the window.

“This was the perfect project. If we win, the money will go right to the house,” said club advisor Carole Kirchhoff.

Visitors to downtown Riverhead have until Dec. 20 to vote on their favorite windows at the East End Arts Gallery on East Main Street.

See more photos below:

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