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halloween dance

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Photo by Julianne Mosher

When Port Jefferson Village trustee Kathianne Snaden heard that the Port Jefferson School District had to cancel its annual Halloween dance for the middle school, she knew she had to take action. 

Just two weeks before the festive holiday, the district chose to cancel the event due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Snaden, along with the Port Jefferson PTSA and the Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council, decided within just a few days to hold the Halloween dance, which was also canceled last year because of the pandemic, at the Port Jefferson Village Center. 

“When the school says, ‘We can’t do it,’ I say, ‘How can we?’” Snaden said at the event, held on Friday, Oct. 29. “We came together and just made it happen.”

Inside the first level of the Village Center, nearly 150 students dressed as everything from a group of inflatable dinosaurs to the cast of “Winnie the Pooh.” Outside, where the ice skating rink is installed, a tent was set up for an indoor/outdoor experience. 

Candy was put out for students to snack on and a DJ played music for dancing. 

“We have these beautiful assets, like the Village Center, and they should be used for things like this,” Snaden said. “That’s why they were built, and this is perfect — the kids are having a blast.”

While the district had to cancel the dance, Snaden said they were instrumental in getting the word out.

“It was a great collaborative,” she added. “It was perfectly orchestrated and it worked out.”