Santa waved to spectators from the back of a fire department truck during the Lions Club annual Santa parade Sunday afternoon on Main Street. Photo: Denise Civiletti

A good crowd turned out yesterday for the Riverhead Lions Club Santa Parade and the town’s annual holiday bonfire on the riverfront Sunday afternoon, despite two weather-related postponements.

The parade stepped off at 3 p.m. and came down Main Street, proceeding up McDermott Avenue to the riverfront, where a blazing bonfire awaited.

Santa rode into town, accompanied by Mrs. Claus, waving to spectators from the back of a fire department pickup truck.

In addition to members of the Lions Club, the parade included marchers from the Riverhead VFW, Riverhead Fire Department, Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Boy Scouts, the Riverhead Town Board and a large contingent of the bright-yellow suited Falun Gong. The parade also showcased classic cars, antique tractors driven by members of the L.I. Antique Power Association, and a long line of fire department trucks, decked out for Christmas, their lights flashing and sirens blaring.

L.I. Needs a Drag Strip sponsored the hot chocolate stand and its members doled out free hot cocoa to help spectators stay warm.

Children of all ages and their parents lined up to get into Santa’s gingerbread house, where they visited with Santa and Mrs. Claus and posed for pictures. Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar assisted visitors to the gingerbread house with photos.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti

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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.