Delayed, yet still de‘lighted’

Parade of Lights delights community a day later than expected


They were a day late, but they weren’t a dollar short. The Center Moriches Fire Department’s annual Holiday Parade of Lights took place on Main Street on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 12. The event was slated for a day earlier, but was postponed due to inclement weather.

A group of friends and neighbors were among the hundreds of parade-goers who came from near and far to watch the annual holiday spectacle. The friends come to the parade each year, and each year they dress up in festive gear with lights, hats, headbands, and scarves. Even their vehicles, parked in front of them on Main Street during the parade, were fitted with holiday lights and cheer.

“We come every single year and we pretty much stand right here in this same spot every year. It’s a good time. We love it here. We never miss it,” said Mark Zaleski, one of the friends.

Zaleski said the group comes from all over, including, Calverton, Center Moriches, East Moriches, Eastport, Hampton Bays, Manorville, Riverhead, and even farther. The parade lasted about half an hour and featured a variety of themed floats, including the “Grinch Who Stole Christmas” and “Alice in Wonderland.”

Some attendees decided to watch from the sidewalks, while others ventured off the sidewalks and got up close and personal with marchers on the other side of parked vehicles. Whether the parade was watched from the streets or from the sidewalk, it was enjoyed from all vantage points. In true parade tradition, young eventgoers scrambled to pick up candy canes and other holiday treats as they were thrown by marchers—and in an added bit of sudsy fun, Holiday Productions, a Christmas party supply company, blasted parade-goers with snow foam.

The event stood as a reminder that gathering together for a good time is a beautiful thing and that the community truly knows how to let loose and have a good time. In one touching example of holiday spirit, Eastport firefighter Christopher Hulse marched east on Main Street with his fire company, until he saw a baby on the north side of the street. Hulse took the baby, held her up and posed for several pictures as onlookers snapped their own photos. It turns out the baby was his newborn daughter, Zoey Quinn. Hulse’s mother-in-law explained the parade was Zoey’s first. They whole family looked excited to be there together. In fact, the whole community looked excited to be there together, too.


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