Flanders, Riverside And Northampton Community Notes, December 12


I guess it’s official. Christmas is coming and I know this for certain because last Thursday night, December 5, more than 300 people waited at the Big Duck Ranch to watch Santa’s arrival atop a Flanders firetruck so he could flip the switch on our iconic Big Duck.It was a wonderful and balmy 58 degrees last week as families from all over Long Island turned out to sing a few duck-theme holiday carols performed by the Riverhead Middle School Show Choir, which was led by Nadine Greenberg. The students performed such modified classics like: “I’m Dreaming Of A White Big Duck,” “Quack The Halls” and “Jingle Duck.”

This marked the 10th year that the choir has performed at the Big Duck lighting. They always do a great job and I find myself singing along to the catchy lyrics.

While attendees traveled from all over, no one came as far as Ivan and Sabina. They were visiting from Switzerland and had big smiles on their faces during the festivities. Although they do not speak English, their facial expressions conveyed all you need to know about the holiday season.

The event featured an impressive lineup of greeters, including Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, Southampton Town Board members Bridget Fleming and Chris Nuzzi, as well as Suffolk County Parks Commissioner Greg Dawson and Richard Morton, who was also representing the county. Ms. Fleming delivered a brief Christmas greeting and followed those words with an excited, “Let’s just light the duck!” Her idea prompted loud cheers from the crowd, especially from the younger attendees who knew that Santa was set to arrive at any moment.

As the choir was finishing up, the sirens from Santa’s escort could be heard off in the distance, and Mr. Schneiderman asked for quiet. The children listened, though many could not help but jump up and down with excitement. Flanders Fire Department Chief Todd Ryan escorted Santa to the stage, at which time he picked a few helpers before getting down to the business of hand—flipping the switch and illuminating the Big Duck!

Afterward, Santa posed for pictures with the children and whispered something in each ear before they left the stage. And, one by one, the little ones then whispered a few words to their waiting parents.

As my daughter Mackenzie left the stage she, like the others, came and whispered in my ear; apparently, Santa likes chocolate chip cookies and not the store-bought kind … he likes the homemade versions.

Thanks, Santa!

Congratulations go out this week to Vicki Farruggia. She was honored last Thursday, December 5, by members of the Suffolk County Republican Women for her dedication to the organization. The Flanders resident was honored at the group’s annual holiday party, held at Villa Lombardi in Holbrook, and Southampton Town Republican Committee Chairman Bill Wright noted that Vicki was one of his grade school teachers many years ago.

Thank you, Vicki, for all that you do and not just for the Suffolk County Republican Women, but for our entire community.

One final reminder: The Bay View Pines Civic and Taxpayers Association will not be meeting this month. Happy holidays.

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