RIverheadLOCAL file photo.

Get your jingle bells ready. Downtown Riverhead will host the 68th annual Lion’s Club Santa Parade and the 20th annual holiday bonfire on Saturday, Dec. 14.

The fun begins at 3 p.m. when the parade steps off on West Main Street and Osborn Avenue. It continues east along Main Street and finishes at about 3:45 p.m. the Peconic Riverfront, where a blazing bonfire and Christmas caroling await, with free hot cocoa and a chance for the little ones to visit with Santa in his gingerbread house.

The favorite holiday event is sponsored by the Riverhead BID and the Town of Riverhead.

“Come for an afternoon of community, celebration and cheer, including free visits and photos with Santa, hot chocolate and candy canes,” BID Management Association executive director Kristy Verity said. Pack a picnic, blankets and lawn chairs to stay fireside until 7 p.m., Verity said.

A little boy reacts to Santa waving to him at the Riverhead Lions Santa parade in 2017. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Bidawee’s mobile adoption van will be on-site with dogs and cats ready for adoption, according to a BIDMA press release.

“The BID is so proud of our downtown and we enjoy giving back and sharing the holiday spirit with all of Riverhead,” Verity said.

Downtown Riverhead restaurants, bars and breweries will be serving food and drinks all day and night, inviting guests to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and socializing downtown, she said.

Carolers, performers, businesses, youth groups and community organizations are encouraged to enter a float, decorated vehicle or march in the parade. Email: [email protected]

In case of inclement weather on Dec. 14, the festivities will take place Dec. 15.

The bonfire on the riverfront Dec. 8, 2018. Photo: Denise Civiletti
Santa will be holding court in his gingerbread house on the riverfront Dec. 14. File photo: Denise Civiletti

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