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Holidays in Oyster Bay 2009 Dazzles the Hamlet

A collaborative effort between Oyster Bay’s Chamber of Commerce, the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, and the Oyster Bay Civic Association pulled off a great “Holidays in Oyster Bay 2009.” The big day for the celebration was Sunday, Dec. 6.

Families enjoyed the free horse-and-carriage rides, narrated by Isaac Kremer, Main Street Association executive director, that showcased the quaint architecture and history of the downtown area. Families gathered at the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum Preview Center (102 Audrey Avenue) to catch their rides.

Michele Browner, chair of the annual Holidays in Oyster Bay, said: “What can I say after such a successful tree-lighting event? Thank you, thank you, thank you! It took many to pull together such a smooth holiday celebration:

“To Carmine Parolo, Dottie Simons and Carlos Ramos of the OB Chamber, for all the efforts in getting the snowflakes, wreaths and banners hung and the bandstand decorated so beautifully. And to the entire bulb-changing crew who made sure those snowflakes were perfect.

“To Alex Gallego, who works tirelessly at most things Chamber, but especially who spearheads fundraising for our goals.

“To Kevin Hanifan, Steve Bauer and the TOB lighting crew who not only put everything mentioned above up, but who for the first time decorated our tree in such an outstanding manner! We had quite the “Wow! Factor” at the actual moment of lighting.

“To my family (Dennis, Bryce and Brittany), who screwed in every one of the 1,100 bulbs that are now on that stunning tree.

“To John Specce, who will always be everyone’s mentor due to his countless years of experience and calm nature! (You pulled us through some tight moments in preparing, John). And thank you to Oyster Bay Railroad Museum for sponsoring the carriage rides.

“To Isaac Kremer, who shared his tremendous knowledge of the history of our beloved town as he narrated each carriage ride all day out in the cold.

“To Bill von Novak, Rob Brusca, Judy Barnett and the rest of the OB Civic Association group who work on refreshments and traffic safety patterns at the lighting.

“To Sally Robilotto and Catherine Drabin, for preparing a food donation to the food pantry.

“To Tim Wright, for providing his technical abilities for the sound system at the event.

“To the Atlantic Steamer Fire Company, for hanging our street banner, providing refreshments and especially for assisting with Santa’s safe arrival!

“To John Canning, ‘The Voice’ of the entire holiday program and narrator of T’was the Night Before Christmas, who has a very natural ability to ad lib as we aimed for a smooth program.

“To JoAnn DiGennaro Criblez and her talented brother John DiGennaro of the HPS Network Singers, for sharing their voices in song at the lighting.

“They say it takes a village….and we have all given of ourselves to prove that everything is possible if we can always work together and support one another through our common goals.

“Thank you all and Happy Holidays!” said Ms. Browner.

The Chanukah Menorah Lighting was led by Rabbi Marvin Demant of the Oyster Bay Jewish Center on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at the Derby-Hall Memorial Bandstand. The special ceremony ended with refreshments.

Still available for the holiday season is the Buckingham’s Variety Store located at 36 Audrey Avenue which is the site of this year’s free gift-wrapping center open Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Simply visit the store with an item purchased at an Oyster Bay-East Norwich shop, show a receipt, and enjoy free gift wrapping. Families are encouraged to shop and dine in downtown Oyster Bay and make a day of it.

For more information, call the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce at 922-6464 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .