Eighth Annual Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Set for November 26, 2017
Preparations are underway for the Eighth Annual Huntington Holiday Parade and Street Festival, featuring a new day of the week, an exciting grand marshal, more entertainment and a return of the fun-filled activities that have made it one of Long Island’s most popular family events.
The region’s largest light parade will kick off at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 26, capping a festive holiday weekend in Huntington Village that includes the Huntington Lighthouse Boat Parade on Friday evening and Small Business Saturday. This represents a change from previous years, when the parade was held on Saturday evening and is in response to requests from several Village merchants that the event be separate from Small Business Saturday.
Leading the parade – and performing as part of the tree lighting ceremony – will be Michael DelGuidice, leader of the popular Billy Joel tribute band Big Shot. In addition to playing to sold out crowds at the Paramount in Huntington while leading Big Shot, DelGuidice also tours with Billy Joel, playing acoustic guitar and doing some vocals.
Other changes from last year’s Parade and Street Festival include new categories for the popular Gingerbread House contest, limiting the competition to home bakers, grouped by age: Children (under 15 years old) and Adult (15 and over). The finalists in both categories will be displayed in storefronts on New York Avenue, again for a public vote on the 26th, and the finalist entries in both categories will be placed on display in the Town Hall lobby throughout December and January. The display has been a popular attraction for Town Hall visitors.
Many of the other features that have made the day truly special will be back, by popular demand, including the interactive map that people can access online through their smart phones and tablets. The map provides information about participating merchants and any offers they might have tied to the day, as well as parking availability, parade details and a guide to the festival.
Any merchant wishing to participate this year can download an application on the Town’s website or on the Huntington Holiday Facebook page. In addition to providing a social media presence the page gives those who are coming to the parade an additional avenue to obtain information. A coupon sheet will be on the page, with deals from around the village for people to print out before the parade and festival; as well as any applications will be up there as pictures for people to download.
The parade, which draws between 5,000 and 10,000 people to the Village, will kick off at 5 p.m. from the Big H Shopping Center on New York Avenue and will proceed north to Main Street and then west on Main Street to West Neck Road.
The parade will include competitions for the best floats in several categories, with judging based on how well they follow the theme of the parade, “Merry Melodies.” The friendly competition among fire departments is particularly fierce, because the winning department gets to choose who gets to play Santa Claus in the 2018 parade. Businesses and organizations are also encouraged to participate.
Among the popular features returning from previous year’s festivals are musical performances throughout the Village during the day and a scavenger hunt. Organizers are working on additional features; stay tuned.
After the tree lighting ceremony, the festival will continue on Wall Street. A DJ will take over to maintain the festive mood, as children pay a visit to Santa Claus, get their faces painted, play in the bounce houses, or enjoy a free cup of hot chocolate, compliments of Christopher’s Restaurant, Almarco and Huntington Panini or free cotton candy or roasted chestnuts. There will also be holiday crafts and activities at both the Huntington Public Library and Panera Bread, starting at noon.
Free parking will be available at the Huntington train station, with a convenient free shuttle from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Information about sponsorships and a sponsorship application can be downloaded at www.huntingtonny.gov/filestorage/13755/16152/Sponsor_Application_2017.pdf.
Merchants wishing to sign up for the interactive map can download the application at www.huntingtonny.gov/filestorage/13755/16152/Parade_Map_Application_2017.pdf.The deadline for signing up is October 30.
Groups or companies wishing to be part of the parade can download that application at www.huntingtonny.gov/filestorage/13755/16152/Parade_Application_2017.pdf.
For the Gingerbread House competition, download the rules and application form at www.huntingtonny.gov/filestorage/13755/16152/Gingerbread_House_Application_2017.pdf.
The Huntington Holiday Parade and Festival Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Huntington-Holiday-Parade-1782071382035028/