The holidays are upon us

The holidays are upon us


ISLIP TOWN—The weekend after Thanksgiving is the official kickoff to the holiday season with a plethora of festivities taking place all over the town. The excitement spans just about every hamlet, and here are a few events that are planned for the weeks ahead.

On Saturday, Nov. 28 – Small Business Saturday – the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Bay Shore will host their annual Winter Festival at Dr. King Park on Main Street, beginning at 3:30 p.m. The tradition includes the lighting of a Christmas tree and menorah for Hanukah. There will be music, treats and a visit from Frosty and Santa.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, the Bay Shore Historical Society will open their headquarters—22 Maple St.—for the annual Snowflake Sale and a visit from St. Nick. It will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Light the Night, where miles of luminaries will brighten the hamlets of Brightwaters and Bay Shore, will take place on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m.

In Islip, the annual holiday parade, which is co-sponsored by the Islip Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Islip, will head down Main Street on Saturday, Dec. 5. Previously, this decades-old event had taken place at 2 p.m. with a kickoff at Brookwood Hall, marching west to 401 Main Street. However, this year, the parade will begin at 5 p.m. “The parade will be illuminated,” said Doris Kennedy, president of the Islip Chamber of Commerce.  It will begin at 401 Main and end at Memorial Park (adjacent to Islip Town Hall), where the tree lighting will take place.

“The town came to us over the summer and they thought it would be a neat new idea,” Kennedy said. The combined proceedings (parade and tree lighting) eliminates the need for two separate events; the tree lighting used to take place on Friday evening before the parade. Kennedy said that the nighttime parade with a shorter route would also cut the typical two-hour parade time in half. And it should add a bit more excitement with lighted floats.

The more recent tradition of Merry on Main will not take place this year. The town had previously run that event at 401 West on the day of the parade.

On Sunday, Dec. 6, the Historical Society of Islip Hamlet will hold their 22nd annual Holiday House Tour featuring historical or architecturally significant homes. The event features guides in period costume and includes entertainment, refreshments, as well as a Chinese auction. For more information, go to

The chamber and the Town of Islip are co-sponsoring the lighting of the menorah for Hanukah on Monday, Dec. 7. That event, which will feature singing and cocoa, will begin at 5 p.m.

Islip’s Light the Night event will coincide with Bay Shore and Brightwaters on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. Rain dates are: Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20.

The East Islip Historical Society presents the annual Orphan Tree Lighting at Brookwood Hall on Monday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. A replica tree will be lit inside the palatial building that was once the Orphan Asylum of Brooklyn.

In West Islip, the annual Festival of Lights, which is co-sponsored by the American Legion Post 1738 and the West Islip Chamber of Commerce, will be held on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4:30 p.m. at the intersection of Higbie Lane and Udall Road. The events will feature the lighting of the community Christmas tree and menorah. A reception will be held at the post after the festivities, where Santa will hold court.

The West Islip COC will also be hosting a holiday party on Wednesday, Dec. 9 that’s free and open to the general public. The event will take place at the American Legion Hall, 340 Union Blvd. For more information, call Nancy Donohue at 661-8348.

The festivities at Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park in Great River will take place Friday, Dec. 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to join in a sing-a-long of traditional holiday carols and enjoy hot beverages. Santa Claus will ceremoniously light the tree for the 2015 holiday season. Admission is free, and in the spirit of giving, visitors are asked to bring canned goods or a new, unwrapped toy for those in need. Limited parking is available, so visitors are asked to arrive early.

Sagtikos Manor Historical Society is hosting Presidential Christmas Celebrations on Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hear about how some of our presidents celebrated the holidays with their families.  The Suffolk County-owned historic property will feature guides in period costumes and light refreshments. A fee is charged and reservations are required. Go to