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Holiday Spirit Arrives By Land And Sea 

Whether by land or by sea, Huntington will be kicking off the holiday season next Friday and Saturday with a bang thanks to a pair of festive illuminated spectacles.

The official kickoff to the holiday season in Huntington village is just around the corner, and organizers of two parades that have quickly become part of that tradition are preparing to wow thousands of revelers from the land and the sea.

Lighted Boat Parade On Nov. 29

While savvy shoppers may know the Friday after Thanksgiving as Black Friday, Huntington boaters are hoping to make the name “Blue Friday” stick. For the fourth year, residents will flock to Huntington Harbor ahead of a 6 p.m. cannon on Nov. 29 to watch lighted vessels parade through the waterfront.

“It’s becoming an event that people look forward to every year,” organizer Pam Setchell, president of the Huntington Lighthouse Preservation Society, said. “Hopefully, we’ll get bigger and bigger and hopefully our weather will hold out like it has the last three years.”

Vessel owners pay $50 to enter the parade and have a chance to win one of 10 prizes – Best in Show, Best Sailboat, Best Powerboat, Best Corporate Boat, Best Club Boat, Most Creative, Most Elegant, Most Outrageous, Fleets Favorite, and Best Music and Animation. So far, Setchell said that registration is in the “high 20s,” adding that she expects a big rush as parade date nears.

Now in its fourth year, Setchell said she’s hoping to raise as much as $10,000 for the lighthouse through the event, a goal they’re hoping to accomplish with the assistance of landlubbers who pony up $50 to enter a new home and business decoration contest. Organizers are also encouraging waterfront residents and business owners who host viewing parties to use the opportunity to raise money for the lighthouse.

Awards will be presented at a special reception Dec. 3 at Honu: Kitchen and Cocktails. For more information about the boat parade, visit www.huntingtonboatparade.com.

Parade Of Lights In Village Nov. 30

Once the seafaring set is done, the focus will move from surf to turf as the parade of lights continues in downtown Huntington village during the town’s fourth annual Holiday Parade and Street Festival on Saturday, Nov. 30.

“This is a special parade in a special place,” Supervisor Frank Petrone said. “I invite everyone start the day at the village’s unique shops, visit the many restaurants and then to join us to see the fantastic floats the fire departments and other groups put together, followed by an evening of family holiday fun.”

After stepping off at the Big H Shopping Center at 6:30 p.m., a parade filled with floats by fire departments, scouting, veterans and civic groups will march north on New York Avenue to Main Street, then west along Main Street past Wall Street to West Neck Road. The year’s parade theme is holiday toys, and fire department, commercial and not-for-profit awards will be given for the best floats.

Holiday trees on Wall Street, the Village Green and at Town Hall will be lighted simultaneously during a brief ceremony following the parade.

Wall Street will be closed to traffic from Main Street to Gerard Street until 9 p.m. for a street fair, including performances, vendors, a Gamin Ride truck and horse and buggy rides through the village. Kids can meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as some of their favorite Yuletide characters. The Halesite Fire Department will have Buddy the Elf on board the actual sled used in filming the movie “Elf.”

Sponsors include the Town, the Huntington Village and Huntington Station Business Improvement Districts, the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, the Huntington Manor and Huntington Fire Departments and the Huntington Chiefs’ Council.

Small Business Saturday

A day after the big sales and rush to shop on Black Friday, Huntington’s fourth annual Holiday Parade and Street Festival on Nov. 30 coincides with Small Business Saturday. Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is dedicated to supporting small businesses across the United States.

If you’re looking to spend the day in Huntington village, consider availing yourself of a special shuttle service sponsored by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce. From 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Small Business Saturday, shuttle service will bring shoppers who park at the Huntington LIRR station back and forth to Huntington village.

A new feature for this year’s event is powered by co-sponsor Twitter, and it allows residents to Tweet where they’ll “shop small” on Small Business Saturday. Visit https://shopsmallneighborhoods.americanexpress.com to get the buzz started in Huntington.

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