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Heidi Sutton

A scene from the 2023 Huntington St. Patrick's Day Parade. Photo by Media Origin

By Heidi Sutton

Whether or not your ancestors hail from the Emerald Isle, everyone is guaranteed to enjoy a family-friendly (and dog-friendly) St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Here are the ones on the North Shore this year over the next few weeks. And don’t forget to wear green!

Center Moriches

Moriches Chamber of Commerce’s 20th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place on Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. The parade begins on Lake Avenue and ends at Railroad Avenue. This year’s Grand Marshal is George Keller. For more information, visit www.moricheschamber.org. 


Farmingdale presents its 10th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Northside School and proceeds down Main Street to the Village Green. This year’s Grand Marshal is Patrick J. Ryder. Call 516-286-7800 for more information.


The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) invites the community to its 90th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Huntington on Sunday, March 10 from 2 to 3 p.m. Grand Marshal Monsignor Steven Camp will lead the procession down New York Avenue to Main Street. Long Island’s oldest and largest, the parade will feature dozens of pipe bands. For more information, visit www.huntingtonhibernian.com.

Miller Place-Rocky Point

The Friends of St. Patrick will host the  72nd annual  Miller Place-Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 10 at 1 p.m. sharp. The 2.8-mile parade starts at Harrison Avenue and Route 25A in Miller Place and then finishes at Broadway in Rocky Point. This year’s Grand Marshal is Vincent Worthington. For further information, visit www.friendsofstpatrick.com or call 631-473-5100.


The 35th annual Ronkonkoma St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Sunday, March 24 at 2 p.m.Grand Marshal Greg Plante will lead the parade from Hawkins Avenue at School Street, south down Hawkins Ave ending at Thorne Street. Call 631-304-6303 or visit www.ronkonkomaparade.org.

St. James

St. James Chamber of Commerce presents the 40th annual St. James St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 9 from 1 to 2 p.m. The parade will step off along Lake Avenue from Woodlawn Avenue to the viewing stand in front of the gazebo ending just before St James Elementary School, rain or shine. Featuring scouts, dance troupes, pipe bands, school bands, floats, fire trucks and more. The grand marshal will be Peter Scully. 631-584-8510.


By Heidi Sutton

The temperature outside was a bone-chilling 22 degrees as I drove into Theatre Three’s parking lot in Port Jefferson last Sunday morning. Once inside, however, the atmosphere was warm and inviting as families with young children settled in their seats to watch a most excellent performance of Jack and the Beanstalk or The Boy Who Cried Giant!

Written by Jeffrey Hoffman, Douglas J. Quattrock and Jeffrey Sanzel the original musical combines the well known fairytale with the classic fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf and tells the story of a nice boy named Jack (played by Sean Amato) who lives in a small village with his mother (Josie McSwane) and his best friend in the entire world, Filpail the Cow (Julia Albino).

But Jack has a problem — he tends to exaggerate and has told so many tall tales (“I can even wash a cat!,” “My cow can speak in seven different languages!”) that no one believes him anymore. “Someday your stories are going to get you in trouble,” his mother warns. Jack also receives a visit from the Fairy Mary Goodwing (Cassidy Rose O’Brien) who tries to convince him to “always tell the truth and you will be true to yourself.”

One day his mother tells him that they have no other choice than to sell Filpail to Butcher Blackstone (Ryan Worrell). On the way to the market, Jack and his cow meet two pirate gypsies, Marco and Margot (Liam Marsigliano and Kaitlyn Jehle), who claim they want to buy Filpail for “cowpanionship” (they really want to sell her to Butcher Blackstone) and trick Jack into trading her for some magic beans.

Jack’s mother is furious when she finds out what happened and throws the beans away. A giant beanstalk suddenly appears, signaling the start of a wonderful adventure.

In Act Two, Jack climbs the beanstalk and discovers a castle in the sky occupied by a cranky (and whiny!) giant (Ryan Worrell), the giant’s wife (Gina Lardi), a golden harp (Liam Marsigliano) and a hen that lays golden eggs (Kaitlyn Jehle). 

When Jack returns home and tells his mother and the villagers what he has seen no one believes him. He decides to return to the giant’s castle with Filpail to bring something back as evidence. The giant’s wife gives Jack a pair of her husband’s enormous pants. But as they are about to leave, the giant gets a whiff of the boy and his cow (“Fee Fi Fo Fum!”). Will they escape in time?

Under the direction of Steven Uihlein, a talented cast of eight adult actors play multiple roles during this action adventure. The songs, accompanied on piano by Douglas J. Quattrock, are catchy and fun and there’s even a tap dance number choreographed by Sari Feldman.

Costume designer Jason Allyn deserves “giant” accolades for the beautiful outfits and props, including a three-foot-long sneaker and a beanstalk that magically grows all the way to the ceiling. 

With the important message that one should always tell the truth, Jack and the Beanstalk will warm your heart. Don’t miss this one. Meet the cast in the lobby after the show for photos. 


Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents Jack and the Beanstalk through Feb. 3. Children’s theater continues with Dorothy’s Adventures in Oz from Feb. 21 to March 16; The Adventures of Peter Rabbit from April 13 to 27; and a brand new show, The Mystery of the Missing Ever After, from May 25 to June 15. All seats are $12. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

Holtsville Hal’s handler, Greg Drossel, shows him to the crowd during a previous Groundhog Day celebration. Photo courtesy of Town of Brookhaven

By Heidi Sutton

Pennsylvania may have the legendary groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, but here in Suffolk County we have our very own prognosticator of prognosticators, Holtsville Hal. The cute little rodent with his buck teeth and short bushy tail will be the star of the day as the Holtsville Ecology Site and Animal Preserve celebrates Groundhog Day with a special event on Feb. 2. 

Hundreds will gather to hear Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Daniel P. Losquadro announce Holtsville Hal’s famous forecast. 

According to tradition, if a groundhog sees its shadow after stirring from hibernation on Groundhog Day, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; if not, spring should arrive early. Superintendent Losquadro will reveal Hal’s prognostication at approximately 7:25 a.m.

“Our annual Groundhog Day celebration is an enjoyable tradition for many local families,” said Superintendent Losquadro in a press release. “I’m always hopeful Hal will predict an early spring to help my snow removal budget, but either way this is a much-anticipated event each year in Brookhaven Town.”

Although he’s sure to be the center of attention, Holtsville Hal will not be the only animal available for viewing on Feb. 2. Following the ceremony, residents are welcome to enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, coffee and bagels provided by 7-Eleven and Bagel Lovers and visit the more than 100 non-releasable, wild or injured animals residing at the Animal Preserve, including its latest resident, Leonardo “Leo” DiCatprio, the Eurasian Lynx.

The Preserve is also home to a buffalo, black bear, bobcat, coatamundi, hybrid wolves, an artic fox, goats, horses, pigs, cows, alpaca, deer and many more.

Gates will open at the Holtsville Ecology Site & Animal Preserve, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville, at 7 a.m.; parking is free. Residents are asked to arrive as close to 7 a.m. as possible to get a good view of Hal. Call 631-451-5330 for more information.

Children hold up menorahs they made at a Menorah Lighting event in a previous year. File photo by Seth Berman

By Heidi Sutton

Hanukkah begins at sundown on Thursday, December 7 and ends on the evening of Friday, December 15 this year. Here are some menorah lighting ceremonies, parades and celebrations in our neck of the woods.

Commack/Dix Hills

— Chabad of Mid-Suffolk, 318 Veterans Hwy., Commack presents a Grand Menorah Parade to The Chai Center, 501 Vanderbilt Parkway, Dix Hills on Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. The grand menorah lighting and Chanukah Party will follow at The Chai Center with doughnuts and latkes. RSVP at ChabadMidSuffolk.com/parade

— Join the Suffolk Y JCCC, 74 Hauppauge Road, Commack for a Menorah Lighting and Shine a Light on Anti-Semitism event on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. 631-462-9800

East Setauket

Village Chabad, 360 Nicolls Road, East Setauket will host a Chanukah Car Parade and Grand Menorah Lighting with a Chocolate Gelt Drop on Dec. 10 starting at 4 p.m. with latkes, donuts, music, Johnny Peers & The Muttville Comix dog show and more. $10 per person in advance at MyVillageChabad.com/LightOverDark, $15 at the door. 631-585-0521


Join the Town of Brookhaven for a Menorah Lighting at Town Hall, One Independence Hill, Farmingville on Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. followed by entertainment, hot latkes and donuts. 631-451-6100


The Greenlawn Civic Association will host a Menorah Lighting Ceremony and Hanukkah celebration at Harborfields Public Library, 31 Broadway, Greenlawn on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. www.greenlawncivic.org


Chabad of Huntington Village will host a Grand Menorah Lighting at the Huntington Village Winter Wonderland at Main Street and Wall Street on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 4:30 p.m. 

Kings Park

The Kings Park Chamber of Commerce hosts a Menorah Lighting/Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Veterans Plaza, 1 Church Street, King Park on Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. Enjoy holiday music selections followed by invocation and welcome remarks from the chamber with hot chocolate and cookies. Held rain or shine. 631-269-7678

Lake Ronkonkoma

Take part in a Menorah Lighting at Raynor Park, 174 Ronkonkoma Ave., Lake Ronkonkoma on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. Hosted by the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce. 631-963-2796

Port Jefferson Station

The Port Jefferson Station/Terryville Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Menorah Lighting at the Chamber Train Car, corner of Route 112 and Nesconset Highway, Port Jefferson Station on Dec. 7 from 4 to 5 p.m. 631-821-1313.

St. James

The community is invited to the St. James Menorah Lighting Ceremony at The Triangle, Route 25A and Lake Ave., St. James on Dec. 7 at 5 p.m., Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. and Dec. 9 to 14 at 5 p.m. Includes light refreshments. Nonperishable food donations accepted for the local food pantries. 631-584-8510


The Town of Smithtown and Chabad of Mid-Suffolk will hold its annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Town Hall, 99 West Main St., Smithtown on Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.. 631-360-7512

Town of Brookhaven will light their holiday tree at the Holtsville Ecology Site on Dec. 1. Photo by Erin Hoeler TBR News Media

By Heidi Sutton

While a few villages and towns lit their holiday trees last week, the majority of tree lightings on the North Shore will take place this weekend and next weekend with caroling, treats and a special visit from Santa Claus. 


— The Centereach Civic Association invites the community to its annual holiday tree lighting and inaugural Dickens Festival on the lawn of Capital One Bank, 2100 Middle Country Road, Centereach on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. Enjoy caroling, hot cocoa, candy canes and a visit from Santa. Rain/snow date is Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. 

— Bethel Hobbs Community Farm, 178 Oxhead Road, Centereach presents Light the Night, a tree lighting and live nativity in memory of Matt Lewis on Dec. 9 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. 631-774-1556

Cold Spring Harbor

The Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery, 1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor will host a tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2 from 5 to 7 p.m. Santa Claus will light the hatchery’s Christmas Tree at 5:30 p.m. Free admission after 5 p.m. Suggested donation of $10 per family. 516- 692-6768.


Greenland Landscape and Nursery, 292 Town Line Road, Commack will hold its 8th annual Community Tree Lighting on Dec. 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. Santa Claus will be making a special appearance and hot cocoa will be served to warm up the evening. 631-368-7182


Coram Engine Company 2, corner of Route 112 and Pine Road, Coram will hold its annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. Join them in Santa’s Workshop to decorate your own Santa hat while you wait for Santa Claus to arrive to light the tree with music and refreshments. 631-698-9714

East Northport

Island Christian Church, 400 Elwood Road, East Northport will hold its 2nd annual Community Tree Lighting event on Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m. Free family activities starting at 3 p.m. include ice skating, live nativity, storytime with Santa, indoor snowball fights and much more. Visit islandchristian.com/christmas for more info and to register. 631-822-3000


Farmingville Hills Chamber of Commerce and Farmingville Residents Association hosts a tree lighting at Triangle Park at the Town Clock, corner of Horseblock Road and Woodycrest Drive on Dec. 10 at 5 p.m.  (event starts at 3 p.m.) with a visit from Santa and music by the Helping Hands Ministry children’s choir.  Refreshments at the Farmingville Fire Department will follow. 631-260-7411


The Greenlawn Civic Association hosts its 31st annual “Meet at the Tree” Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 2 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at the Harborfields Public Library, 31 Broadway, Greenlawn. Enjoy hot cocoa, cookies, dance performances, a Christmas carol sing-along plus a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus on the Greenlawn Fire Dept. truck. Bring your letters to Santa for the North Pole mailbox. www.greenlawncivic.org.


The Town of Brookhaven will hold its annual Christmas Tree Lighting event at the Holtsville Ecology Site, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. with costumed characters, musical entertainment, and a special appearance by Santa Claus, who will arrive via helicopter, and then assist with the countdown to light the tree. 631-451-9276

Kings Park

The Kings Park Chamber of Commerce hosts a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony/Menorah Lighting at Veterans Plaza, 1 Church St., King Park on Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. Enjoy holiday music selections followed by invocation and welcome remarks from the chamber with hot chocolate and cookies. Held rain or shine. 631-269-7678

Lake Ronkonkoma

Join the Ronkonkoma Chamber of Commerce at Raynor Park, 174 Ronkonkoma Ave., Lake Ronkonkoma on Dec. 3 for their annual Christmas Tree Lighting from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Enjoy live entertainment by the Cherokee Street and Nokomis Elementary School Choirs and a visit from Santa. 631-963-2796

Miller Place

The 15th annual Tree Lighting and Polar Express will be held at the Aliano Shopping Center, 691 Route 25A, Miller Place on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. Enjoy performance from the Dance Pointe Performing Arts Center, as well as Miller Place students, and a visit from Santa Claus before the tree lighting. Free coffee, hot chocolate, soup, pizza, and donuts will be served.

Mount Sinai

Join the North Shore Youth Council and the Mount Sinai Fire Department for their 16th annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Heritage Park, 633 Mount Sinai-Coram Road, Mount Sinai on Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. Listen to festive caroling by the Sing 4 Music choir, warm up with hot chocolate  with marshmallows and fresh baked cookies by Mojo’s Treats and take photos with Santa. 631-403-4846


The Nesconset Chamber of Commerce will hold a Holiday Lighting at the Nesconset Gazebo on Smithtown Blvd., Nesconset on Dec. 3 at 3 p.m. with music, refreshments and a visit from Santa Claus. 631-724-2543

Port Jefferson

St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson invites the community to its annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec 6 in the Atrium/Lobby starting at 4:45 p.m. with caroling, hot cocoa, and cookies.

Port Jefferson Station 

Join the Port Jefferson Station-Terryville Chamber of Commerce for a Community Tree Lighting at the Chamber Car, corner of Nesconset Highway and Route 112, Port Jefferson Station on Dec. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. with refreshments and a visit from Santa. 631-821-1313

Rocky Point

The 39th annual Rocky Point Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. at the corner of Broadway and Prince Road, Rocky Point with live holiday music, hot chocolate and candy canes and a special visit from Santa. 631-729-0699

St. James

The St. James Chamber of Commerce invites the community to a Christmas Tree Lighting celebration at Deepwells Farm County Park, 2 Taylor Lane, St. James on Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. with holiday music, kids crafts, pictures with Santa, cookies and hot chocolate. 631-584-8510


Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, 5 Randall Road, Shoreham invites the community to a Holiday Lighting at Wardenclyffe event on Dec. 2 from 3 to 6 p.m. Enjoy music, festive exhibits and activities for all ages with a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. Register for your free tickets at www.teslasciencecenter.org. 631-886-2632


Smithtown Library, 1 North Country Road, Smithtown will light their holiday tree on Dec. 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with refreshments and photos with Santa. 631-360-2480

Stony Brook

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization hosts a Holiday Tree Lighting with Santa at the Stony Brook Village Center Green, 111 Main St., Stony Brook on Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. as part of the WMHO’s 43rd annual Holiday Festival. 631-751-2244.

Wading River

The Shoppes at East Wind in Wading River will host its 7th annual Tree Lighting on Saturday Dec. 2. The festivities start at 4 p.m. and last until 8 p.m., where all can enjoy live DJ entertainment and a dance number by All Star Dance Academy. Children can ride Rudolph on the carousel and put in a letter in Santa’s mailbox. Santa arrives on a Wading River Fire Department fire truck at 6 p.m. to light the tree. Rain date is Dec. 3. 631-929-3500

By Heidi Sutton

While three spirits haunt Ebenezer Scrooge on Theatre Three’s Mainstage, the spirit of the season carries over to the children’s theater production of Barnaby Saves Christmas. The holiday favorite, written in 2003 by Douglas J. Quattrock and Jeffrey Sanzel with music and lyrics by Quattrock, has become a beloved tradition in Port Jefferson and one that is looked forward to each year. The show opened last Saturday and runs through the end of the year.

It’s Christmas Eve at the North Pole and Santa’s elves Sam (Josie McSwane), Crystal (Kaitlyn Jehle) and Blizzard (Julia Albino) are busy putting the finishing touches on the presents and loading the sleigh. Barnaby (Ryan Worrell), the newest and littlest elf trainee, tries his best to help but only succeeds in making a mess.

When Santa (Sean Amato) and the elves leave to deliver the gifts to children across the world, Barnaby realizes that they left behind a special toy, a “little stuffed bear with dark blue pants, buckles on his shoes and a bright yellow vest,” he enlists the help of Blizzard’s fawn Franklynne (Cassidy Rose O’Brien) to find Santa and “save Christmas.” Along their adventures they discover that an evil villain named S. B. Dombulbury (Steven Uihlein) who, with his partner in crime Irving (Jason Furnari), is trying to ruin Christmas for everyone, and meet a Jewish couple (played by Gina Lardi and Sean Amato) and learn all Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. There’s even a great chase scene through the theater!

Directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, the nine adult cast members do a wonderful job telling this adorable tale. Reprising his role as Barnaby, Ryan Worrell’s solo “Still With a Ribbon on Top” is beautifully executed and wait until you see him dance! And yes, Barnaby will save the day but just wait until you see how! 

Costumes by Jason Allyn are exquisite and the choreography by Sari Feldman is superb. Utilizing the set of A Christmas Carol, the special effects are terrific, elevated by the futuristic lighting and, spoiler alert, it even snows in the theater!

With the ultimate message that “every day is a golden opportunity to be better than you used to be,” Barnaby Saves Christmas is a must see this holiday season. Your kids will love it! Souvenir elf and reindeer dolls will be available for purchase during intermission and the entire cast will be in the lobby after the show for photos. 

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents Barnaby Saves Christmas through Dec. 30. Children’s theater continues with Jack and the Beanstalk from Jan. 20 to Feb. 3, Dorothy’s Adventures in Oz from Feb. 21 to March 16, and The Adventures of Peter Rabbit from April 13 to April 27. All seats are $12. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.

By Heidi Sutton

As autumn arrives on the North Shore, so does a perennial favorite, the Setauket Artists Exhibition. Now in its 43rd year, the beloved show returns to the Setauket Neighborhood House on Sunday, Oct. 22 with a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. The exhibit with the motto “Art for a Lifetime” will encompass the entire first floor of the historic building which dates back to the early 1700s. 

A total of 35 group members will be participating with approximately 100 pieces of art in a variety of mediums including oil, watercolor, acrylic and pastel along with handpainted photographs and cyanotypes by Marlene Weinstein.

“Because we live in such a beautiful area, many of the paintings are inspired by Long Island landscapes and seascapes of the Sound. This year we are fortunate to have an oil painting of the Neighborhood House itself done by Renee Caine. Other paintings reflect artists’ travels and daily inspirations, which range from the Grand Canyon (by Angela Stratton) to the Stony Brook Grist Mill (by Robert Roehrig),” said Paula Pelletier, publicist for the Setauket Artists.

Judging the show will be Lois Reboli of the Reboli Center for Art and History in Stony Brook who will be tasked with choosing Best in Show, Award of Distinction and 5 Honorable Mentions.

This year’s exhibit is bittersweet as it is the first time without Irene Ruddock, the former president of the Setauket Artists who passed away in June. “There will be a memory board where visitors can add their memories of Irene, who did so much for the local art community,” said Pelletier who is also this year’s Honored Artist.

“I thank the Setauket Artists, especially Irene Ruddock, for this accolade. I have multiple watercolors in the show, two painted especially for this show including a watercolor of the Hercules Pavilion in Stony Brook,” said Pelletier who has been a member of the group for over 15 years.

Participating artists include Ross Barbera, Shain Bard, Ron Becker, Kyle Blumenthal, Sheila Breck, Joyce Bressler, Renee Caine, Al Candia, Gail Chase, Anthony Davis, Julie Doczi, William Dodge, Paul Edelson, Margaret Governale, William Graf, Larry Johnston, Flo Kemp, Karen Kemp, Joanne Liff, John Mansueto, Terence McManus, Jane McGraw Teubner, Eleanor Meier, Fred Mendelsohn, Muriel Musarra, Paula Pelletier, Joan Rockwell, Robert Roehrig,  Irene Ruddock, Oscar Santiago, Carole Link Scinta,  Barbara Jeanne Siegel, Angela Stratton, Susan Trawick, Marlene Weinstein, and Patricia Yantz.

“All paintings are for sale, except Irene Ruddock’s work, which is on display to commemorate our former president. There will also be matted, unframed works available in bins. Some are originals, others are giclee prints,” said Pelletier.

In addition, four paintings will be raffled off this year including “Dry Dock” an acrylic by John Mansueto; “Shadows” a watercolor by Muriel Musarra, “Welcome” an oil by Robert Roehrig, and “Westbury Gardens” a watercolor by Joyce Bressler

Pelletier is excited to unveil the exhibit to the community. “It will be a beautiful show painted by talented artists who are attuned to the beauty of the local area.”

The Setauket Neighborhood House, 95 Main St., Setauket presents the 43rd annual Setauket Artists Exhibition from Oct. 22 to Nov. 15 daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for special events. For more information, visit www.setauketartists.com.

Take part in the annual Costumed Dog Parade on East Main Street on Oct. 21. File photo by Bob Savage

By Heidi Sutton

Looking for something fun to do with the family this weekend? Then head down to the Village of Port Jefferson as it transforms into the annual Oktober Harvest Fest on Oct. 21 and 22 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This year the event will be sponsored by the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and the Port Jefferson Business Improvement District in cooperation with the Incorporated Village of Port Jefferson. The two-day festival will feature a pumpkin decorating contest, a cherry pie eating contest, a pumpkin harvest maze and patch (fee), a self-guided art walk, cornhole games, a scarecrow meet and greet, strolling musicians, a pirate scavenger hunt (fee), horse and wagon rides (fee), ten-foot Tall Walkers, a scarecrow walk, a harvest photo op and much more.

Barbara Ransome, Director of Operations at the Port Jefferson Chamber, is looking forward to seeing the fun unfold. 

“There will be events throughout the whole village so its very walkable, very accessible and very family friendly. You can park your car and choose from a large selection of activities,” she said.

Highlights this year include the annual Halloween costumed dog parade sponsored by Fetch Doggy Boutique along East Main Street on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., and a village-wide Chowder Crawl on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. According to Ransome, in the case of torrential rain, the parade and Chowder Crawl will be pushed to Sunday.

This year many of the businesses in the village will host activities in front of or in their shops. Fall Fun kids crafts will be offered at Kilwins, a B&B Paranormal Investigations Tour sign up sheet will be at the Port Jeff Brewing Company (fee), and Oktober Fest Tastings will be offered at Port Jeff Liquor, Whiskey Barrel, Spycoast and Pindar for adults, just to name a few. For a full schedule of events, visit www.portjeffchamber.com.

Up next in the Village is the Santa Parade on Nov. 26, the Festival of Trees at the Port Jefferson Village Center from Dec. 1 to Jan. 2 and the 27th annual Charles Dickens Festival on Dec. 2 and 3. For more information, call 631-473-1414.

By Heidi Sutton

The 14th annual Village Cup Regatta, a friendly competition between Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, set sail on Sept. 9 on the Long Island Sound for two good causes.

The Regatta consists of Yacht Club-skippered sailboat where employees from the Hospital and Village help crew the boats, which race in one of three classes based on boat size.

Presented by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, the Regatta raises funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. This year’s Regatta, which was won by the Mather team, raised $94,000 which was divided equally between the two groups. Mather Hospital’s Executive Director Kevin McGeachy accepted the Village Cup and the check for his team at a celebratory Skipper’s Reception at the Port Jefferson Village Center following the races. Mayor Lauren Sheprow represented the Port Jeff Village team.

Actor, director and local resident Ralph Macchio once again served as Village Cup Regatta Celebrity Ambassador for the event. Macchio has helped to publicize the important work of the two programs funded by the Regatta for the last ten years. His wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather Hospital’s Palliative Medicine Program.



Culper Spy Day. Photo by North Island Photography

By Heidi Sutton

Mark your calendars! Culper Spy Day returns on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  (rain date is Sept. 10). Presented by the Three Village Historical Society (TVHS) and Tri-Spy Tours in collaboration with more than 30 local historical and cultural organizations, the day will feature activities related to the Culper Spy Ring which was founded by Benjamin Tallmadge, George Washington’s chief intelligence officer during the Revolutionary War.

Now in its 9th year, the annual event is the brainchild of Margo Arceri, who first heard about Washington’s Setauket spies (including her favorite spy Anna Smith Strong) from her Strong’s Neck neighbor and local historian, Kate W. Strong, in the early 1970s. 

“My love of history grew from there,” said Arceri who today runs Tri-Spy Tours offering walking, bike and kayak tours of the Setauket area. “Everywhere you turn in the Three Villages you are looking at an artifact, and as the historical society believes, the community is our museum and I would really love to put that on the forefront of people’s minds. History is constantly evolving and new information is being discovered everyday. We don’t know what is waiting to be unearthed next and that fills me with excitement.”

Participants will have the opportunity to visit 9 locations in Setauket, Stony Brook and Port Jefferson (see list below) to learn about Long Island’s brave Patriot spy ring. Admission to all locations, with the exception of the Sherwood-Jayne House tour and the Spies! exhibit tour at the TVHS, is free.

“Guests at Culper Spy Day can expect to learn about American Revolutionary history in their own backyard. The hometown heroes who risked their lives and turned the tide of the war lived here on Long Island, working with George Washington right under the noses of their British neighbors. Through re-enactors, storytellers, demonstrations, and self-guided and docent-led tours, visitors at Culper Spy Day will enjoy information and inspiration at all of our historic sites,” said Mari Irizarry, Director at the TVHS.

According to Irizarry, several new exciting events have been added to the roster this year. “We’re proud to host George Washington, Martha Washington and their Squire in his field tent / oval office on the grounds of the historical society; we have partnered with Preservation Long Island to create a deluxe scavenger hunt across all sites for excited clue seekers to learn along the way; and Drowned Meadow Cottage Museum will present their new exhibit, Privateers: Pirates with Permission with guided tours, privateers re-enacting the plundering of the Roe family and colonial-themed storytelling for children.” 

Colonial cooking demonstrations by Diane Schwindt from the Ketcham Inn will feature an authentic recipe from Mary Floyd Tallmadge, who was the wife of Benjamin Tallmadge and daughter to William Floyd, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Visitors may sample the food and take home the recipe.

In addition, The Long Island Museum will have the recently discovered Culper Spy letter on display throughout the day. “The handwritten letter dated November 8, 1779 from Benjamin Tallmadge (using his alias, John Bolton) to Robert Townsend (alias, Samuel Culper Jr.) is the only known surviving letter between the two,” said Arceri.

The event also marks the launch of the Three Village Historical Society’s brand new 1776 Augmented Reality app through the generous donation of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

If you don’t have time to visit all the locations, Arceri recommends visiting the Sherwood Jayne Farm and the Drowned Meadow Cottage as they are not open to the public very frequently “so it is a treat to step back in time and visit these sites” as well as the Caroline Church of Brookhaven and the Setauket Presbyterian Church and their historical cemeteries.

Arceri is looking forward to welcoming new visitors to Culper Spy Day. “Last year was such a huge success — we had over 1100 people visit ‘Culper Country’ and we expect to have those numbers grow as more and more of the mainstream are getting Culper fever,” she said. “Setauket has really become a tourist destination and Culper Spy Day is certainly a highlight for these visitors as they are able to see many of the sites and visit with many of the organizations that make up our Revolutionary story.”

Irizarry agrees and is committed to continuing this event for years to come.

“At the Three Village Historical Society, our mission is to preserve our shared history. The Culper Spy Ring is an essential part of how we won the Revolutionary War and became a country — that’s a history we can ALL share! Culper Spy Day is a celebration like no other, and we love seeing history come to life year after year. As more sites and organizations get involved, this incredible event gets better and better.”

The 9th annual Culper Spy Day is made possible by the generous support of Heritage Spy Ring Golf Club. For more information, call 631-751-3730 or visit www.culperspyday.com

Visit the grave of Culper Spy Abraham Woodhull in the Setauket Presbyterian Church cemetery. Photo by Heidi Sutton

1. THREE VILLAGE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, 93 North Country Road, Setauket. Located in the circa 1800 Bayles-Swezey House. Here you can take part in outdoor events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. including “building” a timber frame house with Abraham Woodhull; children’s story hour; colonial crafts; an invisible ink demonstration;; Culper Spy-themed authors and book signings; Anna Smith Strong’s famed clothesline, a colonial cooking demonstration; 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers in America) and Huntington Militia encampment; and much more. Docent led tours of the Spies! exhibit will be held every 30 minutes at $10 per person. Food trucks will be on site. 631-751-3730.

2. SETAUKET NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE, 95 Main St., Setauket. The original part of the house, where the central chimney is located, was built in the early 1700s. In 1820 it was moved to its present location from its original site on Setauket (Conscience) Bay by Dr. John Elderkin. The building has served as an inn, and has housed a general store, post office, bank and a Franklin Library. Docents will give tours of the historic home from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 631-751-6208.

3. PATRIOTS ROCK HISTORIC SITE, Main Street, Setauket (across from the Setauket Post Office). This glacial erratic boulder is said to be the location of the Battle of Setauket on Aug. 22, 1777. Stop here between 10 a.m. and  2 p.m. to meet representatives from the Three Village Community Trust who will discuss the importance of Patriots Rock and its local and environmental history. 631-689-0225.

4. CAROLINE CHURCH AND CEMETERY, 1 Dyke Road, Setauket. Built in 1729, this timber frame building has maintained its Colonial appearance. Now an Episcopal church, during the Revolutionary War the Caroline Church was Anglican and a Colonial extension of the Church of England. The graveyard contains the remains of six Patriot soldiers as well as soldiers from World War I and II. The inside of the church will be open for guided tours from noon to 4 p.m. and tour the cemetery your leisure with a docent present for questions.  631-941-4245. 

5. SETAUKET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND CEMETERY, 5 Caroline Ave., Setauket. The previous church (1714–1811) was a part of British fortifications during 1777. The fort was under the command of Loyalist commander Col. Richard Hewlett. The present building dates from 1812. Come tour the interior of the church from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and then tour the cemetery with the grave of Abraham Woodhull of  Washington’s spy ring at your leisure. 631-941-4271

6. EMMA S. CLARK MEMORIAL LIBRARY, 120 Main St., Setauket. The library (circa 1892) will display Revolutionary War soldiers’ equipment in the lobby, enjoy live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and kids can enjoy an outdoor craft from noon to 3 p.m. 631-941-4080 

7. SHERWOOD-JAYNE HOUSE, 55 Old Post Road, East Setauket. Originally built around 1730 as a lean-to saltbox dwelling, the house and farm were maintained as an operational farmstead for over 150 years by members of the Jayne family. Visit with Big Bill the Tory aka William Jayne III, who will explain the noble intentions and virtuosities of King George III and tells you the TRUTH about Washington’s pesky band of renegade spies! Tours run continuously from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $5 per person. 631-692-4664

8. THE LONG ISLAND MUSEUM, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook. The museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate with permanent and changing exhibitions on American history and art, along with the finest collection of horse-drawn carriages in the country, some of which belonged to Revolutionary War heroes. Visit the History Museum between noon and 5 p.m. to view the newly uncovered Culper Spy Ring letter by Benjamin Tallmadge to Robert Townsend. Tour the museum’s galleries and grounds for free. 631-751-0066

9. DROWNED MEADOW COTTAGE MUSEUM, corner of West Broadway and Barnum Avenue, Port Jefferson. The Revolutionary War-era Roe House was originally constructed circa 1755 and Phillips Roe, a member of the Culper Spy Ring along with his brother Nathaniel and cousin Austin, was known to have lived there. Visit the Revolutionary War-era Roe House between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. with a new exhibit, Privateers: Pirates with Permission, tours, privateers re-enacting the plundering of the Roe family and colonial-themed storytelling for children. 631-473-4724

* Please note: Public restrooms are located in the Setauket Neighborhood House and Emma S. Clark Memorial Library.