The Suffolk County Department of Parks and Recreation is kicking off the season with the 29th annual lighting of the iconic Big Duck in Flanders on Wednesday, November 29, from 7 to 9 p.m.
The Big Duck, which sits off Flanders Road and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be decorated with large Christmas ornaments, holiday lights and its traditional 30-foot-long green wreath, according to Richard Martin, director of historic services for the county’s parks. The wreath, which will be put in place by Sears Bellows County Park officials prior to next week’s free holiday event, wraps around the neck of the Big Duck, which stands roughly 20 feet tall.
The holiday tradition will feature a visit from the Long Island Ducks baseball team mascot, Quackerjack, the singing of duck-themed Christmas carols by the Riverhead Middle School Show Choir, and the sharing of hot chocolate. Santa Claus is also scheduled to make an appearance when he arrives atop a Flanders Fire Department truck. Afterward, he will hand out candy canes and pose for pictures with children.
Additionally, an exhibit focusing on the region’s duck farming industry will be set up in the barn to the rear of the Big Duck, Mr. Martin said. Visitors will be able to view vintage photos of the Big Duck and the area’s now mostly defunct duck farming industry.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive early and park on the grounds directly east of the Big Duck Ranch. Mr. Marin said there will be parking attendants, park rangers and Town Police officers present to help direct traffic.
“We welcome everyone to come out to our parks and enjoy the holidays,” Suffolk County Parks Commissioner Philip A. Berdolt said in a press release last week.