Riverhead’s holiday parade, bonfire to be held Dec. 9

Each winter both the Riverhead Business Improvement District and the Lions Club host holiday events that bring hundreds of visitors to downtown Riverhead. This year, in an effort to make both events even bigger, the groups have scheduled them to coincide on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The 66th annual Lions Club parade is set for 3 p.m., one hour before the BID’s holiday bonfire will be lit.

“We decided to join forces because both groups have the same focus of bringing a fun holiday event to the town,” said Melissa Elkins, president of the Riverhead Lions Club. “We thought we could do a bigger and better job at it together, working together, which is what it’s all about.”

The parade will follow its usual route, starting at the corner of Osborn Avenue, proceeding east on Main Street to McDermott Avenue, then returning west along the Peconic River to the Peconic River parking lot and the riverfront bonfire will conclude with a 5:30 p.m. tree lighting. Children will have an opportunity to visit Santa for free photos in a gingerbread house and enjoy free hot chocolate.

Another recent holiday event, Santacon, will not be returning this year, officials said. The bar crawl was launched in 2014 and helped raise money for local charities.

Individuals and businesses interested in creating floats for this year’s parade should contact the Lions Club at [email protected]. The rain date for the parade and bonfire is Sunday, Dec. 10.

[email protected]

File photo credit: Elizabeth Wagner