In spite of the rain that could have ruined the Seasonal Splendor celebration, Friday, Dec. 5, the event was a success. Thanks go to Town Attorney John Venditto, the Supervisor Elect! He gave the okay to use the Town of Oyster Bay Hearing Room as the location for the event when the forecast was rain.
"On Thursday morning, the weather report was for rain on Friday! We planned an outdoor event and had ordered the town showmobile. We needed an alternate location if the weather was wet," said event chair Dagmar Karppi.
"When asked if it could be arranged, Attorney John Venditto said, 'Anything - for you and the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce. Just put the town in on the insurance policy!'"
That was no problem for Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kathy Wilson. It was already in place because the event was going to be on town property, at the Derby-Hall Bandstand in Townsend Park.
Parents and children were welcomed into town hall where there were cookies, candy canes and in a few minutes, Santa Claus himself - Oyster Bay's Les Marbles of Pine Island Etch. The children and he got a long famously as he came down the aisle greeting everyone.
Mr. Louis Costidis, in charge of the Third-Grade Chorus at the Roosevelt Elementary School set up his piano, amplified by the town sound system. His students did a wonderful job entertaining the audience. The faces of the audience were glowing with pleasure and pride at the wonderful performance of the children.
Emily Monem, program coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club of Oyster Bay-East Norwich did a wonderful job setting up the photos with Santa. There were 16 young adults from the P.A.C.E. Torch Club and F.L.Y. Keystone Club saw to it that everything runs smoothly for Santa Claus and his helper, Kathy Wilson, executive director of the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce. She took the Polaroid shots of Santa with the children...20 pictures in all.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Lewis J. Yevoli visited with the children and grownups and when the picture taking was over, he went up, with Santa Claus, into the gazebo and switched on the tree lights.
The tree had been prepared by Bob Whaley. His crew put up the lights and had everything ready including oyster shells at the top of the tree.
As the children left their photo op with Santa, they were given an oyster shell decoration for the tree. By the time Santa got out to help with the tree lighting, the job was finished! It is a truly Oyster Bay tree.
Tom Kuehhas, vice president of the chamber was there with his son Richard. Mr. Kuehhas picked up the oyster shells from the Frank M. Flower office in Oyster Bay, bleached them white, and delivered them to the Doubleday Babcock Senior Center, where seniors drilled holes in the shells and added ribbons.
Greg Koke, chamber president was there giving out cookies and hot chocolate.
Dr. Frank Banta, superintendent of schools was there too, as was Tammy Ashley, PTA Council President, along with many, many parents and grandparents.
At the Seasonal Splendor event a brochure was given out listing the other holiday events taking place in Oyster Bay. You can pick up a copy at the chamber office, call 922-6464.
The next appearance of Santa Claus is on Saturday, Dec. 13. The day starts when Oyster Babies opens their doors between 10 a.m. and noon, for small groups of children for a candy hunt, call 922-1049 for information.
Greg Koke of Huckleberry's American Eatery is hosting a lunch with Santa Claus from noon to 2 p.m. Please call Greg at 922-2600, to make reservations.
The Earle-Wightman House will be holding a children's workshop from 1 to 3. There is a materials charge. Please call 922-5032 for information. It is followed by the annual Candlelight Evening event at the Earle-Wightman House, home of the Oyster Bay Historical Society, on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 4 to 6 p.m.
There will still be time to see Santa Claus the weekend after, when Mark Fox of Canterbury Ales hosts a Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. Please call Mark at 922-3614 to make the required reservations.
Making the Town Sparkle
The judging for the window-decorating contest will take place the weekend of Dec. 13 and 14. Merchants are being asked to add a teddy bear to their window decorations and there will be a contest to see how many bears you can find in Oyster Bay's windows. Your list of teddy bear locations should be returned to the chamber office at 120 South Street by Dec. 18. The winner will be announced on Friday, Dec. 19. The winner receives, of course, a teddy bear.
There will be three Chanukah menorah lightings on Tuesday, Dec. 23 this year. The first is at 5:30 in East Norwich on Route 106, the second is at 6:00 p.m. at the Derby-Hall Bandstand in Oyster Bay and the third is at 6:15 at the Oyster Bay Jewish Center on Berry Hill Road. The public is invited all three lightings. For more information call 922-6650.
For more information about holiday events in Oyster Bay, please check the calendar listings and/or call the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce at 922-6464.