Photos from the first-ever tree lighting in Riverhead’s town square

Hundreds flocked to downtown Riverhead for the inaugural tree lighting in the new town square Sunday.

The event, hosted by the Town of Riverhead, Riverhead Townscape and Riverhead Chamber of Commerce, kicked off with a puppet show for children and featured Christmas carols, cider, candy canes and a visit from Santa Claus.

The crowd then gathered near the center of the square to marvel at the 18-foot Colorado blue spruce donated by Warner Nursery as it was lit in colorful twinkling lights.


Initially slated for Saturday, the lighting was postponed to Sunday due to inclement weather.

The holiday spirit will continue next weekend with the return of the popular holiday bonfire and parade. The Riverhead Lions Club will host the 70th annual holiday parade, starting at Osborn Avenue and West Main Street. The parade will go east and loop south to the Peconic Riverfront, where the 22nd annual bonfire will take place. The event will feature free hot chocolate and a visit from Santa.

The parade is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the bonfire and Santa House will be open from 4 to 6 p.m.

A rain date is set for Dec. 17. More information can be found here.