Holidays

Billy Winn

The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 East Main St., Smithtown will present its 7th annual Irish Comedy Night on Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m. Join them for an uproarious night of stand-up featuring Billy Winn, Bryan McKenna, Rob Ryan, Sean Donnelly, Steve Shaffer and Vincent McElhone. Tickets are $40 per person. To order, call 631-724-3700 or visit www.smithtownpac.org.

By David Ackerman

As a part of its continuing series of highlighting cultural holidays from around the world, the Ward Melville Heritage Organization hosted a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at its Educational & Cultural Center in Stony Brook Village March 3.

The event kicked off with a lively performance from students of the highly acclaimed Mulvihill-Lynch School of Irish Dance, which competes in regional, national and international competitions. Students have won solo medals at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, the North American Irish Dance Championships, the All-Scotland Championships, the Great Britain Championships, the British National Championships, the All-Ireland and World Irish Dance Championships. Mulvihill-Lynch dancers have also won numerous regional and national gold, silver and bronze medals in ceili and figure dancing.

Children from the audience were invited on stage after the performance to see the costumes up close and learn some dance steps.

The celebration continued with the musical storytelling of The Bard and The Busker. Mike McCormack (the Bard), a noted journalist and broadcaster and the National Historian for the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and John Corr (the Busker), a member of the legendary Paddy Doyle’s Boots band, shared stories of Irish history in spoken word and in song.

The afternoon concluded with a delicious treat as the audience was invited to vote for the best tasting Irish Soda Bread in a contest that drew eight entries. Baker Priscilla Kirch of Hauppauge won first place and was rewarded with a $150 Stony Brook Village Center Gift Certificate.

To keep up with events at the WMHO Educational and Cultural Center visit www.stonybrookvillage.com/what-to-do-events/.

 

Celebrate Irish heritage with Irish Night at the Smithtown Historical Society’s Frank Brush Barn, 211 East Main St., Smithtown on March 11 at 7 p.m. Featuring corned beef and cabbage from Faraday’s of Smithtown, dancing by the Mulvihill-Lynch Studio of Irish Dance, live traditional Irish music by John Corr, raffles and a limerick contest. Tickets are $30, $25 members. Call 631-265-6768 for more information or to RSVP.

Resurrection Byzantine Catholic Church, located at the corner of Edgewater and Mayflower avenues in Smithtown, invites the community to take part in its annual Pysanky egg decorating class on March 31 and April 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. The two-day workshop, which will take place in the church’s Social Hall, is open to all levels of experience. Class fee is $20. Beginner kits are an additional $15. Advance registration is required by calling Joanne at 631-332-1449. Deadline to register is March 10.

A Valentine’s Day treat

Harbormen Chorus’s Antiquity Quartet, Fred, Dave, Gary and Vic, visited the Times Beacon Record News Media’s home office in Setauket on Feb. 14 to serenade the staff for Valentine’s Day. The group sang “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “Don’t Be a Baby, Baby” and “Love Me Tender” to a group of adoring fans.

Video by Rita J. Egan

 

By Heidi Sutton

The Town of Brookhaven held its annual Groundhog Day celebration at the Holtsville Ecology Site and Animal Preserve on Saturday, Feb. 2. Many families with young children braved the frigid weather to hear a very important prediction from Suffolk County’s most famous weatherman, Holtsville Hal, and the little guy did not disappoint.

At 7:25 a.m., before a crowd of several hundred spectators, the groundhog awoke from his slumber and did not see his shadow, joining Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, Malverne Mel, Staten Island Chuck and Dunkirk Dave in predicting that spring weather is right around the corner.

Councilman Kevin LaValle (R-Selden), who was joined by Councilman Neil Foley (R-Blue Point), served as honorary Mayor of the Day and read Hal’s prognostication:

“Upon waking up this morning from my long winter’s nap, I heard Honey Bear yawning after this unusual cold snap, Lucy the Buffalo was up, Victoria the eagle too, wondering what everyone is planning to do. I exited my burrow and took a step out, realizing that my prognostication is what this is all about. Hundreds have gathered waiting to hear, will it be an early spring or more snow this year. I know you’re all anxious to hear what I have to say, I won’t keep you waiting at 7:25 on this cold blustery day. When I came out of my burrow and put my paws on the floor, I did not see the shadow I was looking for. According to folklore, go home and ready your lawn, spring is coming and the winter is more than half gone.”

Superintendent of Highways Daniel Losquadro (R), who was not able to attend the event this year, issued a statement on Monday.  “I’m sure we are all looking forward to an early spring and keeping our fingers crossed that our resident weatherman maintains his accuracy,” he said. “Regardless, the Brookhaven Highway Department remains ready to handle whatever Mother Nature decides to send our way.”

After the event, festivalgoers were treated to bagels and hot chocolate and were able to visit the 100 animals that call the Ecology Site home including deer, horses, goats, llamas, hawks and its newest addition, a pine martin. The center, which is open all year round, also includes jogging and exercise trails.

Greg Drossel, who has been Holtsville Hal’s handler for 22 years, said, “I remember when this ecology site was started by Harold Malkmes [Brookhaven’s longtime superintendent], 25, 30 years ago with a pair of buffalo and a pair of bald eagles and now it’s a gem in the Town of Brookhaven and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Located at 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville, the Ecology Site will next host the 2019 Home & Garden Show on March 23, 24, 30 and 31 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 631-758-9664.

The Harbormen Chorus again this year will send out quartets of handsomely dressed gentlemen to entertain loved ones for Valentine’s Day. In their long-standing tradition, they offer the finest, unique and most memorable gift — The Gift of Song! The quartets sing anywhere in Suffolk County: in offices, homes, restaurants, even bowling alleys and mechanic’s shops!

For information and to book a visit for only $75 (includes two love songs along with a box of chocolates, flower and personalized card), call 631-644-0129. The Harbormen Chorus is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and regularly supports the Good Shepherd Hospice at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson with donations and song.

Photo from Vanderbilt Museum

Looking for a romantic way to enjoy Valentine’s Day? Come to the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport and spend an evening with your Valentine at Eagle’s Nest, the Spanish Revival mansion of Rosamond and William Vanderbilt on a hilltop above Northport Bay.

Your evening begins with music, passed hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer in the Memorial Wing, amid Vanderbilt’s exotic collections. Embark on a guided tour of the mansion through the family’s private living quarters decorated for Valentine’s Day. See rooms celebrating the romances of Rosamond and William Vanderbilt, Romeo and Juliet, Napoleon and Josephine and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and hear about the legend of St. Valentine. 

Tours, which will be held on Feb. 14 and 15, begin at regular intervals from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person, $35 members. To order, call 631-854-5579 or visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

Valentine’s Day at the Vanderbilt mansion. Photo by Maryann Zakshevsky/Vanderbilt

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to make plans for that special day. Why not treat your Valentine to a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at Eagle’s Nest, the elegant Vanderbilt mansion where Hollywood stars and European royalty dined with one of America’s most famous and powerful families?

On Saturday, Feb. 9, the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport will hold its annual Valentine’s Day dinner (a major fundraiser for education programs) with limited seatings of 50 at 6 and at 8 p.m.

The grand, 24-room Spanish Revival mansion on Northport Bay — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — is one of the most glamorous and romantic settings on Long Island.

Many rooms in the mansion will be decorated with Valentine themes, including the romances of Rosamond and William Vanderbilt, Romeo and Juliet and Napoleon and Josephine. Others feature the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (frequent mansion guests) and their beloved pugs, the legend of St. Valentine and Valentine cards and candy.

The evening is a rare opportunity to enjoy an intimate dining experience with a spouse, partner or special friend and to celebrate in Gold Coast style.

“Many people have used the storybook atmosphere of the Vanderbilt mansion as a romantic backdrop for first dates. Several people tell us they proposed marriage here. And each year many couples come to the Vanderbilt for their wedding ceremonies. This is a perfect place for a romantic dinner,” said Lance Reinheimer, the museum’s executive director.

As a guest, your evening will begin with passed hors d’oeuvres, prosecco, wine and beer in the Memorial Wing of the mansion, amid Vanderbilt’s exotic collections of ethnographic artifacts from Africa, Asia and South America.

After a brief tour through his private living quarters, you will dine in the Northport Dining Room Porch, where the Vanderbilts enjoyed leisurely dinners with their family and friends.

Dinner will be a choice of prime rib, balsamic glazed chicken stuffed with goat cheese, heart-shaped ravioli a la vodka or salmon stuffed with crabmeat. Viennese desserts follow in the Lancaster Room, with a side trip to the Vanderbilt Library and the Moroccan Court.

Tickets are $150 per person, $135 for members, by reservation only. For more information, call 631-854-5579 or visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.