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car parade

Cast members from the Newfield High School production of ‘The Addams Family.’ Photo from MCCSD

By Kimberly Brown

To celebrate the kickoff of Newfield High School’s live stream production of “The Addams Family,” parents and teachers surprised the cast and crew with a car parade.

The show will premiere on Saturday, June 5. 

Rain didn’t stop people from surprising Newfield High School students last Saturday with a car parade.
Photo from MCCSD

Parents instructed the students who performed in the play to dress up in their costumes so they could take press release pictures. Little to their knowledge, what seemed to be an endless line of cars decorated with balloons, posters and pinatas waited outside. 

“They thought it was strictly for publicity and had no idea there was going to be a parade like that,” said parent Sean Austin. 

The production team brought a speaker, where music from the show played. Cast and crew members showcased one of their dances while the car parade circled the bus loop. 

“Everyone’s really happy the play is finished,” Austin said. “I know it was a little bit of a weird process with the filming, since they had to perform scenes out of order, but in a way, it was good because if they messed up on a part so they could easily go back and redo it.”

Students and parents paid homage to chorus and theater arts director Joan Meichner, who was faced with the challenging task of putting together the production while still adhering to the changing COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. 

Cast members from the Newfield High School production of ‘The Addams Family.’
Photo from MCCSD

“From the time the show was cast, to the time we were in production and filming, the COVID guidelines and regulations had changed several times,” Meichner said. “The students in the show handled all of these changes with unparalleled grace, excellence and enthusiasm.”

Despite the obstacles, giving the students a production they are proud to be a part of is the only goal Meichner hoped to achieve. 

“I am certain that we accomplished that, and the growing excitement as we eagerly await our premiere is inspiring,” Meichner said.

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Families rallied in August asking the Smithtown Central School District to consider five days of in-person schooling for all of the district’s students. Photo by Lina Weingarten

Members of the Facebook page Smithtown Parents Watchdog Group are heading up a car parade Sunday, Feb. 7, in the name of education.

The parents have been proponents of all Smithtown Central School District students returning to school five days a week in person and have held several rallies in front of the district’s New York Avenue administration building.

Currently, while elementary school students have been in the classrooms all five days since the beginning of October, those in the middle and high schools are still following a hybrid model.

During the Nov. 24 Smithtown Central School District Board of Education meeting, school board members addressed an aspirational timeline to have secondary students return to school in-person full time in staggering phases starting in January. However, the move has been postponed twice.

In a Jan. 27 letter, Superintendent Mark Secaur provided district families an update after the school board’s Jan. 26 meeting. The board decided to pause the full return of secondary students until March.

“While we are starting to see improvements with the data associated with the pandemic, we continue to have very real concerns regarding our ability to safely supervise and support the academic program should we increase the number of students in attendance daily,” Secaur said in the letter.

The watchdog group plans to pass all secondary schools in the district Feb. 7 and posted a map on its Facebook page. The group’s administrator said on the Facebook page that those interested can join the parade at any point. Middle and high school students are invited to participate, and families are encouraged to decorate their cars, bring megaphones and make signs.

“Let there be no mistake, you are demanding your full education and school experiences be given back to you,” the message posted on Facebook read.

The car parade will begin at the Smithtown Library – Nesconset Building, 148 Smithtown Blvd., Nesconset at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 7 and end at the New York Avenue Central Office at approximately 12:30 p.m.

“We will never stop fighting for our MS and HS kids to have the option to return to school five days,” the message read. “They deserve to have the ability to learn in person every day and stop the loss they have experienced from continuing — let’s make the line of cars be endless.”

A May 21 car parade was as classic as it gets.

Classic car owners from various clubs on Long Island came together to drive pass Huntington Hospital to show their gratitude for health care workers battling COVID-19. Hospital employees and neighbors had the chance to see scores of classic cars going pass the facility located on Park Avenue.

Before the parade, the car owners met at Mill Dam Park at 6 p.m. where the drivers donated food to Hauppauge-based Long Island Cares. Approximately, 1,000 pounds of food and $680 in funding was collected for the nonprofit that provides food for local residents experiencing food insecurity.

Organizations involved in the parade included Vintage Chevrolet Club of America, Mopar Club of Long Island, Classic Car Club of America, Long Island Corvette Owners Association, Mustang Shelby Club of Long Island, Model A Ford Club of Long Island, Long Island Street Rods, Antique Automobile Club of Long Island, Thunderbird Club of Long Island and Cap-A-Radiator Co.

Also on hand May 21 were residents who every day at 6:45 p.m. show up at the hospital entrance to cheer for the health care workers around the time shifts change.

Members of Village Chabad in East Setauket and Lubavitch of the East End organized a car parade to thank the health care workers at Stony Brook University Hospital May 12. Dozens of cars were led past Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and the main building by a Setauket Fire Department truck and SBU police. The group was even joined by a music truck for entertainment.