By Rita J. Egan
Wet weather couldn’t stop Santa Claus from visiting Stony Brook Village Center as promised Dec. 3.
Santa’s appearance was part of the 44th annual Ward Melville Heritage Organization Holiday Festival. In addition to photos with the jolly elf, attendees spent the afternoon visiting with animals at the petting zoo and viewing the promenade of trees decked out for the holidays and the train display at W.L. Wiggs Opticians. Carolers also performed throughout the shopping center.
“Despite the weather, hundreds of people came out to see Santa arrive in Stony Brook on the antique fire engine for the 44th time,” said Gloria Rocchio, WMHO president. “What was added this year was a Grinch character to complement Santa, which the children loved. People noted the tree looked fuller than usual and was decorated beautifully. Hundreds tuned into the tree lighting in person and also remotely on our website.”
WMHO trustees and elected officials were on hand for the center’s tree lighting later in the day, followed by a private reception at the Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. Santa showed up once again, telling guests he was surprised that not one child asked for a Barbie doll. He added the popular gift request this year was a Taylor Swift-branded acoustic guitar.