Santa arrives by boat to downtown Riverhead

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Santa Claus arrived by boat, captained by Duane Lewin of Aquebogue, in downtown Riverhead Saturday evening for the 11th annual Holiday Bonfire on the Peconic riverfront.

The eleventh annual holiday bonfire in downtown Riverhead drew some 200 people to the riverfront park behind East Main Street Saturday. The festivities kicked off at  4 p.m., with Santa arriving by boat about an hour later. The massive fire spanned some 30 feet and provided warmth for kids who lined up eagerly for a meeting with Santa Claus.

The event, sponsored by the Town of Riverhead and Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association, ran until about 7 p.m. Those in attendance were offered free hot chocolate, candy canes and face painting for the children.

But the winners of the East End Arts Council’s holiday storefront decorating contest were not revealed. Voting will continue for another week, with the winners being announced, and a $500 cash prize being awarded, at the Dec. 23 Riverhead Town Board meeting.

Cast your vote at the East End Arts Council, 133 E. Main St.