Not even the rain could keep Santa from coming to town on Sunday, Nov. 27, during this year’s annual Santa Parade in Port Jefferson village.
Amid a steady downpour, dozens lined the village streets in rain gear and under umbrellas. Marchers along the parade route walked the duration of Main Street, starting from the Port Jefferson train station to the intersection of East and West Broadway, then ending at the Village Center.
Port Jefferson Fire Department featured several of its vehicles. Dancers twirled and fairy princesses trotted along, avoiding the puddles. Santa Claus, the rock star of the evening, rode in a stylish stagecoach pulled by a horse.
The festivities finished in the warmer, dry Village Center, where Santa greeted the children in attendance, asking them what they would like for Christmas. A children’s choir on the second floor filled the hall with songs.
The Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted the event, which coordinates the parade annually. Barbara Ransome, the chamber’s director of operations, explained why the event was held through the rain.
Sunday was the only possible date for the event to be held, and Ransome decided that hosting the parade in the face of bad weather would be preferable to complete cancellation. “I’m glad we didn’t cancel in spite of the rain,” she said.
The chamber director of operations added, “We’ve been doing this for as long as I know. I was very surprised to see so many umbrellas on Main Street — it really worked out pretty well.”
Two elected officials representing the village government, Deputy Mayor Kathianne Snaden and trustee Rebecca Kassay, joined the parade procession. Snaden also expressed a pleasant surprise at the sizable turnout despite the conditions.
“Having the weather the way it was, I really thought it would just be empty streets when we walked down,” she said. “I was really impressed to see so many families brave the conditions to see Santa.”
Kassay described the experience as bringing together the various facets of the community’s heritage.
“To see so many people coming out in their raincoats and under umbrellas to celebrate this tradition in Port Jefferson was a truly heartwarming thing to be a part of,” she said.
— Photos by Raymond Janis