For the past several years the annual Christmas parade in Greenport Village has seen dwindling attendance, perhaps due to the abundance of activities taking place on the North Fork during the holiday season. The tree lighting in Mitchell Park has also suffered a similar lack of interest.
The Greenport Fire Department and the Village of Greenport would like to see that change.
On Dec. 2 the Greenport Fire Department Relief Hose and Phenix Hook and Ladder, which has sponsored the annual Christmas parade for many years, and the Village of Greenport will join forces to host the first ever Parade of Lights and Christmas tree lighting.
“We thought it would be a good idea to combine the parade with the tree lighting and turn it into one big community event,” said Clifford Harris, captain of Phenix Hook and Ladder Company. “And we hope that we can grow the event as the years go by.”
“I think it’s going to be a real family-friendly thing, combining the two events together to make it one big celebration,” said Mayor George Hubbard, one of the organizers. “The parade has been in existence for 30 or 40 years and we didn’t want to just let it go.”
Each fire company is being asked to decorate their trucks for the parade and new activities will be added to the celebration.
In addition to the parade and the tree lighting, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be stationed in Mitchell Park to greet children and hand out gifts, the elementary choir from Greenport School will sing holiday songs and there will be hot chocolate and cookies as well. Winter posters created by elementary students will be displayed in the carousel house and the carousel will be open for rides.
Organizers from Relief Hose, Phenix Hook and Ladder and the Village are still working on firming up exact details, but say that the parade will include the traditional holiday characters as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus in addition to the lighted fire trucks.
The Parade of Lights begins at Center Street and Main Street at 5 p.m. on Dec. 2. and ends in Mitchell Park, where the festivities will continue.
Editor’s note: This story has been amended post-publication to correct an error in the identification of Capt. Clifford Harris’ company.