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Christmas tree lighting

Photo courtesy Kevin Wood

The Port Jefferson Business Improvement District held a tree-lighting ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 1.

The tree was purchased by the Business Improvement District with the full support of the village government, according to Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden. Santa Claus lit the tree during the event after a countdown from those in attendance. 

The night was festive with a snowmaker, hot chocolate from Starbucks, and candy canes from Roger’s Frigate. Those involved in the planning and lighting of the tree expressed enthusiasm for adding this new holiday staple to Port Jefferson.

Photo courtesy Kevin Wood

Photo by Erin Hoeler

By Erin Hoeler

Looking for a new holiday tradition that the whole family can enjoy? Every year, the Holtsville Ecology Site transforms the main entrance leading to the zoo into a winter wonderland. On Dec. 10, the ecology site hosted the Town of Brookhaven’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. 

As visitors walked through the decorated area, they were welcomed with hundreds of lights and a beautiful Christmas tree ready to be lit. Sponsors of the event such as WALK 97.5, WBAB 102.3, My Country 96.1 gave guests the opportunities to win prizes, while restaurants such as Moe’s Southwest Grill and Texas Roadhouse gave chances for free food. 

When people entered the Harold H. Malkmes Wildlife Education and Ecology Center, they were greeted with lights and garlands swirled around the entranceway and the room. Many used this area to take festive family photos to use for their holiday cards.

“I’m joined with Councilman Kevin LaValle [R-Selden], and we are all here with one thing — to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas, a happy holiday and celebrate despite the pandemic and this virus,” said town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R). “We’re still here and we’re still going strong — and we’re going to have a great Christmas.”

Prior to the anticipated tree lighting, children were greeted by characters including Frosty the Snowman, Chase from “Paw Patrol,” Olaf from “Frozen,” and Mickey and Minnie Mouse with whom they could take pictures with. Vendors sold light-up swords and lightsabers for kids to enjoy and play with while they awaited the arrival of the guest of honor: Santa Claus. 

Photo by Erin Hoeler

The ecology site welcomed dancers from Michelle Ferraro’s Dance USA and Inishfree School of Irish Dance to the stage to help get the crowd ready for Santa’s big helicopter entrance. For musical pleasure, Laura Lorenzo sang “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and encouraged the audience to sing along. 

“Every year, Peter Boardman donates his helicopter to go up to the North Pole, pick up Santa and bring him back here,” said Dan Losquadro (R), town superintendent of highways. “You want to know why? Because we don’t want the reindeer to get tired.”

Santa’s helicopter circled above the crowd many times, getting the children excited for his grand entrance. He later arrived on his sleigh accompanied by the Holtsville Fire Department with many lights and sirens. Then it was time to light the big tree.  

At the closing of the event, LaValle added, “It’s great to be back, like the supervisor said. I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Be safe and enjoy the time with your family.”


Photo from Town of Brookhaven

Kick off the holiday season at the Town of Brookhaven’s annual tree lighting at the Holtsville Ecology Site, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville on Friday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. The event will feature costumed characters, complimentary candy canes, musical entertainment and a special appearance by Santa Claus who will arrive by helicopter and then assist with the countdown to light the tree. Event sponsors include Texas Roadhouse, Eastern Helicopters, WALK 97.5, WBLI, WBAB and My Country 96.1. Please bring a new, unwrapped toy for a child in need. For more information, call 631-451-6100 or visit www.brookhavenny.gov

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Smithtown decked the halls this past Sunday, Dec. 4 as the Smithtown Rotary Club hosted a tree lighting at the Smithtown Library.