Much like elves preparing a sleigh, Long Islanders are decking out their boats for a holiday tradition.
The annual Connetquot River Boat Parade will return Saturday evening after a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At 6:30 p.m., a fleet of boats sporting holiday lights will take off and set course foe both The View restaurant and Snapper Inn.
While the number of boats in the parade will remain unknown until Saturday evening, Joe Scalice, the general manager for The View Restaurant and Lounge, said 10 to 20 boats typically participate in the parade. He said Kerry Blanchard, the general manager of the Snapper Inn, is the primary organizer of the event, which typically lasts about an hour.
The evening is expected to be a busy one for nearby and riverfront restaurants.
“We don’t take any advance reservations for that day,” Scalice. “We do a complementary hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes for the kids. It’s a combination of a very busy bar crowd and a dining room of people eating whole dinners and others just having burgers and drinks.”
Cars of six people or less may watch the parade from The View for $25.
While Scalice said The View will not hold reservations, people can purchase reservations for a view from the Snapper Inn for $100.
This year, Scalice said he and the other participants opted out of the Grucci firework show guests have come to expect to accompany the parade. However, the festival will still be a spectacle.
“It’s really a parade to show off all the boats with all of their lights,” Scalice said. “It’s always fun and festive and people just hoot and holler.”