The holidays arrive downtown
It’s been a whole year since the kids got a glimpse of Santa, who made an appearance at Winterfest last Saturday. As expected, he arrived prepared with plenty of treats in his bag to the delight of both the young and old.

IB/Chalifoux

The holidays arrive downtown

Story By: RICK CHALIFOUX
12/3/2015


BAY SHORE—On the evening of Small Business Saturday, hundreds of friends and family members endured the chilly, rainy weather and gathered together at the Main Street gazebo in Dr. King Park for the Bay Shore Beautification Society’s 20th annual Winter Festival. The holiday event, sponsored by the Bay Shore Beautification Society, featured a tree and menorah lighting along with holiday-themed performances by the Bay Shore High School Harmonaires and the South Country School Choir. Refreshments, including hot chocolate, were served courtesy of the Bay Shore Teachers Association and the Milk and Sugar Café.

“It’s a wonderful event for families,” said Terry Nigrelli, director of cultural arts for Bay Shore schools. “We’re very proud of our students and the way they perform.”

The highlight for the children came at the end, when Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman arrived on a fire truck provided by the Bay Shore Fire Department on Fifth Avenue.  As the truck pulled up, a large group gathered around to greet Santa, and a few lucky individuals were able to get candy canes and perhaps even a coveted photo with Kris Kringle himself.  

“It’s a great way to get the kids out of the house and support the local community,” said Bay Shore resident Arnetta McKenna, who came with her two young children, Garrett and Rosin.

Bay Shore-Brightwaters Chamber of Commerce President Donna Periconi was pleased with both the turnout and the collective enthusiasm displayed by all of those in attendance.

“We’re very pleased with the turnout here and on Main Street for Small Business Saturday,” said Periconi. “This turned out beautifully, and we’re fortunate to have the cover of the band shell from the rain.”

The Bay Shore Beautification Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the beauty and pride of the Bay Shore community. Member Mary Louise-Cohen said that the event’s continued success after two decades was a testament to all of the positive steps made to transform the community in recent decades.

“I did the first year and we didn’t have a band shell or microphones,” said Cohen. “It’s amazing how much of a difference it is between now and then. People take great pride in their community and it shows.”

Residents are also encouraged to support the Beautification Society through Light the Night—the organization’s most important annual fundraising event—taking place on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. (rain dates are Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20). All proceeds will be used to enhance the beautification of the community, including the installation of hanging baskets along Main Street.