The island’s seminal holiday boat parade that’s happened every November for nearly three decades in Patchogue will not happen this year due to COVID concerns.
Ditto for the massive Christmas parade that marches down Main Street.
The boat parade typically draws 5,000 to Patchogue River.
“Since the restriction that no more than 50 people can gather for non-essential events we have no choice but to cancel this year’s Christmas Holiday Boat Parade,” said David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, whose riverfront committee organizes the event.
But some local marinas likely will be offering decorated boats to dock that weekend for more informal, unofficial (and smaller) gatherings, he said.
He suggested boaters call around to river marinas.
Drift 82 for one, which also offers transient docking, will have its parking lot decorated for Christmas this season, by Nov. 20.
“Families are welcome to take pictures and enjoy a nice warm dinner inside,’ said John Sarno, a committee members and a co-owner at Drift 82.
There’s also a Breakfast with Santa event at Drift on Dec. 19. Call Drift 82 at (631) 714-4950 for reservations, which are required.
This would have been the chamber’s 27th annual boat parade.
The Main Street parade had been scheduled for Nov. 28. “While the notion of cancelling any event is not generally in the mindset of the village Parks & Recreation Department (which runs the parade), we regretfully, in adherence to the New York State guidelines regarding the COVID pandemic, are forced to cancel our annual Christmas parade,” village Trustee Joseph Keyes said. “This is as great a disappointment to us as to all those who look forward to not only attending, but participating, in this event.”
The parade down Main Street is believed to be the oldest and largest Christmas parade on Long Island.
photos from 2019 below: