Northport residents gathered to see the town’s “award” light up for a 10th straight year.
Northport Hardware Co. has held a leg lamp-lighting ceremony for the past decade, playing off the famous lamp from the holiday classic “A Christmas Story.”
“I think it’s so popular because it’s a hometown event,” said Northport Village Mayor George Doll, who is the master of ceremonies for the lighting. “All the locals thought it was a great idea and it’s just grown and grown every year.” This year, there were more than 100 people gathered outside the hardware store.
The Reichert family has owned the shop for more than 30 years, and when the leg lamps first began being sold, the Reicherts decided to have an impromptu lighting.
“We pulled a couple of guys from Gunther’s [Tap Room] and had the mayor light it,” Jim Reichert, one of the owners of the hardware store, said of the original lighting. Every year after, it became more elaborate, according to Reichert. A projector outside the store plays the movie, a snow machine adds to the ambiance, and the Northport High School kickline team performs for the crowd.
Reichert said that the event is a village collaboration, with residents volunteering to do the lighting, the sound and more.
“It’s a great family night,” he said. “I never expected it to grow this much.”
Doll said when the event started, there was no intention of making the lighting an annual ceremony, but “the event just took a life of its own, and every year people ask if we’re going to do it again.”