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Smithtown Historical Society

Pony Boy, who was named after a song by the Allman, will greet visitors on Feb. 13. Photo by Giselle Barkley

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Smithtown Historical Society, 239 E. Main St., Smithtown hosts a special free event, Love on the Farm, on Saturday, Feb. 13 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Treat your sweetheart to an afternoon of fun romantic activities down on the farm! Enjoy a walk around the property with a petting zoo experience and multiple photo opportunities. Hot cocoa, s’mores, and flowers will be available for purchase. For more information, call 631-265-6768.

Priya Kapoor. Photo by Heidi Sutton

The Smithtown Historical Society has received a grant of $2,000 from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation for expenses generated during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order, New York State on PAUSE. The announcement was made in a press release on Jan. 4.

“We received the grant in 2020 when the times were rough, and we had canceled all our fundraising events due to COVID-19. We used the grant money at a very crucial time,” said Executive Director Priya Kapoor. “We are grateful to the Gardiner Foundation for their support during these extraordinary times!”

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The cold, rain and even COVID were no match for the Smithtown Historical Society’s annual Heritage Country Christmas. Despite changes due to the pandemic, local families still had a chance to welcome the festive season on the society’s grounds.

Every year the historical society hosts its holiday festival that includes tours of its historic homes, live music, carolers, costumed volunteers, crafts, a shadow puppet show in the Frank Brush Barn, raffles and more.

In the past, attendees were able to visit at any time and stay as long as they liked. This year, the historical society sold tickets online and limited the hour-long sessions to 50 guests to help ensure social distancing. Also, all activities were held outdoors.

Originally planned for Dec. 5, the event had to be postponed to Sunday, Dec. 6, due to the rain Saturday. Families found many of the usual activities including caroling, a winter hayride and a visit with Santa Claus. Helping Santa were elves sent over from the Smithtown Center for Performing Arts who invited children to take photos on a stage decorated for the holidays. Visitors also had the chance to enjoy s’mores over the fire, sip cocoa and watch historic cooking.

One guest during the 4 to 5 p.m. timeslot could be heard saying she wanted to thank the historical society for organizing the event because she was looking forward to celebrating the holidays at a community event, even if it meant doing so in the cold.

Priya Kapoor, executive director of the historical society, said in an email Monday that the event was a success. “We saw families enjoying, and kids having fun on the grounds,” she said.

Kapoor said the historical society was grateful for all the volunteers, board members, local elected officials and the Suffolk County Police Department for their help.

“Special thanks to Michael Mucciolo from Smithtown Performing Art Center for helping us decorate our grounds,” she said. “We are grateful to our sponsors for always supporting us, and special thanks to PSEG Long Island for energy-efficient LED lighting.”

The Smithtown Historical Society’s Frank Brush Barn will be decorated for the holidays during the Society’s Heritage Country Christmas on Dec. 5. File photo

This event has been postponed until Sunday, Dec. 6 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. due to inclement weather.

Join the Smithtown Historical Society, 239 E. Main St., Smithtown for their annual Heritage Country Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 4 to 8 p.m. Enjoy holiday caroling, historic cooking, s’mores, ornament decorating, tree lighting, a winter hayride, and a visit with Santa Claus! Rain date is Dec. 6. $5 for an hour time slot. Tickets are available through Eventbrite. For more information, call 631-265-6768.

Lorelai Mucciolo and Jae Hughes reprise their roles as Emily and Amos the Mouse this year. Photo by Carmen Barbosa

By Heidi Sutton

While the doors of the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts (SPAC) on Main Street remain shuttered, the theater continues its partnership with the Smithtown Historical Society to present the magic of live theater for young audiences. Following in the footsteps of sold-out performances of Moana Jr. in the summer and Spookley the Square Pumpkin in the fall, SPAC now brings the community a socially distant outdoor production of Ken Ludwig’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The show will run on various Saturdays and Sundays on the grounds of the society through Dec. 24.

It’s Christmas Eve and Uncle Brierly (Evan Donellan) attempts to read his favorite poem, Clement C. Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to the audience. He gets as far as, “Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” only to be interrupted by a mouse who is in fact stirring batter to make cookies for Santa in hopes that he’ll show up this year.

The mouse, named Amos (Jae Hughes), insists that Santa skipped the house the year before, a claim backed up by Emily (Lorelai Mucciolo), Brierly’s niece and Amos’ best friend. An elf named Calliope (Gabrielle Arroyo) suddenly appears and confirms that Santa’s naughty-or-nice list went missing last year and other families suffered the same fate.

With only a few hours left until Christmas Day, Calliope, Emily and a very reluctant Amos set off on a plane to the North Pole on a quest to prevent this from happening again and to save Christmas.

When they arrive at Santa’s workshop, they overhear a former elf, Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Donellan), tell his sidekick Mulch (Anthony Panarello), how he sold the children’s Christmas wish list to retailers last year and plans to do it again this year. What follows is a madcap rush to retrieve this year’s list with a surprise appearance from Amos’s brother from Kansas (the incredible Hughes in a dual role), a hysterical case of mistaken identity, an exciting sword fight, an elf cheer, a visit from Santa Claus (Panarello) and a hilarious chase scene around the stage to the Benny Hill theme song.

Will Emily, Amos and Calliope succeed in their quest? Will all the boys and girls receive presents this year? Was it all a dream? With the underlying holiday message that the best Christmas presents don’t come in packages and to make life an adventure, this show is truly a joyful tribute to the holiday season!

The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts presents Ken Ludwig’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in the open air outdoor performance space behind the Smithtown Historical Society’s Roseneath Cottage, 239 Middle Country Rd., Smithtown on Dec. 12, 13, 19, 20 and 24 at 11 a.m. Running time is one hour with no intermission. Masks are required. Tickets are $18 per person.

For an additional $7 per family (5 person maximum), guests are invited to stay after the show for a distanced photo opportunity with a live Santa followed by photo opportunities at other locations on the property with Santa’s elves, field of snowmen, lighted Christmas tree, etc., all outside and safely distanced, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Bring your own camera.

To order tickets for either event, please visit www.smithtownpac.org.

From left, Lorelai Mucciolo, Evan Donnellan and Jae Hughes rejoin the cast of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Smithtown Historical Society for the holidays. Photo from SPAC

The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts presents an outdoor performance of Ken Ludwig’s ’Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Smithtown Historical Society’s Roseneath Cottage, 239 E. Main St., Smithtown on Nov. 27 to 29, Dec. 12, 13, 19, 20 and 24 at 11 a.m. Join a mouse, an elf, and a spunky little girl on a quest to find out why Santa missed their house last year. A joyful tribute to the holiday season! Tickets are $18 per person. Masks are mandatory. Stay after for photo opportunities with Santa at his workshop (5 person maximum) for an extra fee. For more information or to order, visit www.smithtownpac.org.

Joan Harris’ woodland-inspired wreath won Best in Show in a previous year. Photo from SHS

The Smithtown Historical Society (SHS) will host a free Wreath Making Workshop at the Frank Brush Barn, 211 E. Main St., Smithtown on Friday, Nov. 20 from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Get creative and ready your wreath for the holidays! Whether it’s to adorn your entry or be an entry in the SHS’s Heritage Country Christmas’ Community Wreath Contest, this is the perfect opportunity to meet up with others, share ideas & supplies, and piece together a winning wreath! Learn the tricks of the trade from master crafter Joan Harris. She will be on hand to assist and inspire you as you work to assemble your masterpiece. You bring the wreath & ribbons. Reservations required by calling 631-265-6768.

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The Smithtown Historical Society, 239 E. Main St., Smithtown is looking for committed, long-term volunteers to join them in preserving local history. Opportunities are available for children’s programming, beautification/decorating, buildings and groundskeeping, special events and more. Call 631-265-6768 if interested.

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Tech Savvy Seniors

Did you know? The Smithtown Historical Society offers a free technology workshop for seniors every other Friday at 11 a.m. in the Frank Brush Barn, 211 E. Main St., Smithtown. Get your questions answered about cell phones, tablets, laptops and more. Topics change weekly, so call or email ahead of time to see what you’ll be learning! Please bring your device (laptop, tablet, or cell phone) to class. Next workshop is Oct. 2. Free. Register by calling 631-265-6768 or email [email protected]