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Photos: Holiday bonfire event draws hundreds of revelers to riverfront

Hundreds of people gathered on the Peconic Riverfront last night for the 17th Annual Holiday Bonfire where they enjoyed a huge bonfire, carols and hot cocoa courtesy of the Town of Riverhead and the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association. 

Santa Claus arrived to the celebration aboard an antique horse-drawn carriage, pulled by North American spotted draft horse Baxter of Aquebogue.  Baxter and the 19th century carriage belong to Cathy and Harry Springer. Cathy Springer drove the carriage, which was led in by Harry Springer and Lindsay Reeve. 

After lighting the Christmas tree on the riverfront, Santa took his seat of honor in the gingerbread house, where he visited with eager children and listened to their Christmas wishes. Photography was provided by the Riverhead Recreation Department.

Councilman James Wooten emceed the event, as he does every year. Local Girl Scouts staffed the hot cocoa table and McGann-Mercy students sold cookies, cakes and goodies. 

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti

Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter and editor, an attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including a “writer of the year” award from the N.Y. Press Association in 2015. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website. Email Denise.