The Big Duck in Flanders is all decked out for the holiday season. Photo: Alek Lewis

For the 33rd straight year, instead of flying south for the winter, the Big Duck in Flanders received a necklace of holiday lights during an annual ceremony that took place Wednesday evening.

Hundreds of local residents were on hand to see the fat fixed feathered fowl ferrocement flash with fluorescent festive flare. 

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman delivered his usual quacky duck puns as the audience groaned and chuckled. He was joined by members of Southampton town government, County Parks Department officials and Long Island Ducks mascot QuackerJack.

Kids were excited to hear that Santa Claus would visit the Big Duck, and cheered as he pulled in on a Flanders fire truck. Santa and the kids flipped the switch to light the duck with glee, and then told St. Nick this year’s wish list while perched on his knee.  

The crowd was entertained before the lighting by several local performers. Caroline Doctorow, an East End singer-songwriter performed her classic “Big Duck Ramble” for the crowd. The Riverhead-based Butterfly Effect Project put on a special dance performance. And the Riverhead Middle School Show Choir performed duck-based parodies of holiday favorites like Holly Jolly Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, Deck the Halls and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Alek Lewis

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Alek Lewis is a lifelong Riverhead resident and a 2021 graduate of Stony Brook University’s School of Communication and Journalism. Previously, he served as news editor of Stony Brook’s student newspaper, The Statesman, and was a member of the campus’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Email: [email protected]