By Carl Corry
The Town of Huntington will usher in the holiday season with its annual tree lighting and holiday parade on Nov. 28. And local businesses and community groups are inviting the thousands of people expected to make their way to the Huntington village to come early and “shop local.”
During the day, there will be a gingerbread house contest, face-painting, craft activities at the Huntington Public Library and Panera Bread, a 90-foot inflatable obstacle course and a slide. There will also carolers in costume. The Huntington Militia will also be on hand to sing 18th century holiday songs and carols.
Businesses will have tables and displays on Wall Street starting at 2 p.m.
Dave Crocco, a Huntington Manor volunteer firefighter and co-chair of the parade committee, said this year’s parade theme is “Candy Land.”
“That could be any way you interpret it to be,” Rocco said. “Anything with candy would be OK,” including floats that will no doubt have all different types of candy.
The parade will start at 6 p.m. at the Big H Shopping Center on New York Avenue, proceed north to Main Street and then west on Main Street to West Neck Road. It will include competitions for the best floats in several categories, with judging based on how well they follow the “Candy Land” theme. A friendly competition among fire departments determines who gets to play Santa Claus in the 2016 parade. There are separate categories for businesses and nonprofit.
Free parking is available at the Huntington train station, with a convenient free shuttle from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The around 25-foot Christmas tree, which is already erected in Mary Smith’s lot at 10 Wall St, will be decorated this weekend, Crocco said. “We’re really going to try to over-light it this year,” he said.
The holiday light parade and festival runs in tandem with American Express’ Small Business Saturday. It’s a day of year when the credit giant puts mom-and-pop shops across America in the national spotlight with hopes of drumming up sales amidst the holiday season’s first major retail rush.