The Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce and the Patchogue Riverfront Committee are going all out this weekend for the comeback of the 27th annual Patchogue Holiday Boat Parade on the Patchogue River.
Festivities kick off on Saturday, Nov. 20, with a preview of the decorated boats docked at the Off-Key Tikki on River Avenue from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The parade is on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 6 p.m.
The event’s theme this year is “A Christmas Movie,” allowing visitors to see some their favorite holiday movies transformed into lighted boat parade floats.
“It’s just another one of those events we’re happy to bring back this year and another sign that things are getting back to normal,” said David Kennedy, executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce. “It’s the oldest holiday boat parade on Long Island and for almost three decades now, this has been the way our community kicks off the holiday season.”
During the preview Saturday, visitors can check out the boats up close and vote for their favorites. On Sunday, the winner receives the People’s Choice Award, Kennedy said.
Kennedy added there are plenty of free public viewing spots along the Patchogue River to watch boats sail in from the Great South Bay, including Sandspit Marina at the Davis Park Ferry Terminal and the Fire Island National Seashore Watch Hill Ferry Terminal, as well as all the waterfront restaurants — Off Key Tikki, Harbor Crab Co., The Oar Steak & Seafood Grille and Drift 82.
Live DJ music will play all parade long at the Sandspit Park and FINS viewing areas, both of which open at 4 p.m.
The waterfront restaurants will host their own boat parade parties and offer food and drink specials.
Mike Bruemmer, chairman of the parade and owner of Off Key Tikki, said the turnout looks great so far with around 25 boats participating.
“We’re going to have Christmas movies on the big screen, a live band, an outside fire pit, so it’s going to be a great night,” Bruemmer said. “On Sunday night, we’re going to do a Thanksgiving dinner buffet.”
John Sarno, owner of Drift 82, is putting on a “Drink the Gazebo Dry” event starting at noon where attendees can enjoy half-price drinks. There’s no cover charge and all are welcome to stop in.
Local band The Shore Things will perform from 2-5 p.m., Sarno says.
Sarno added he has a tent this year, as well as fire pits, flashlights and heaters to ensure an overall optimal viewing party experience.
“It’ll be very festive and decorative inside, that whole Christmas vibe,” he said. “With everything that happened last year, I think everyone is looking to get back out and enjoy the things we took for granted.”
Continue to follow greaterpatchogue.com for future coverage of this event and any updates.
Top: File photo from the 2019 Patchogue Holiday Boat Parade (credit: Ethan Meyer).