Lights on the river
ISLIP TOWN—The 2018 Connetquot River Christmas Boat Parade and Grucci fireworks display once again drew well over 3000 spectators on both sides of the river. It was quite a large crowd, considering the Saturday event had to be postponed to Sunday due to inclement weather.
All along the river, holiday revelers sipped hot chocolate or apple cider on the crystal-clear night. “The sky was so clear that many community members were able to watch the amazing Grucci fireworks display from their own backyards over a mile away,” said Bobby Dallas, coordinator of this year’s event.
Other viewing sites included the Oakdale Yacht Club, which was responsible for donating the barge to facilitate the launching of the fireworks presentation. View, Vanderbilt’s Wharf and the Snapper Inn all had viewing parties as well. These businesses, along with a host of other community members and organizations, are responsible for contributing the funds and hosting this festival of lights on the water each year.
“I was fortunate enough to be with Captain Robert Dallas for one complete lap of the boat parade. Thirty boats followed us as we pulled away from the Snapper Inn dock heading upriver,” said Richard Remmer of the Snapper Inn.
“This year’s event was a little different than last year’s, as we included a Captains’ Meeting, which was held at the Snapper Inn. When it comes to boating and holiday decorating, it is never without its obstacles. With the ferocity of the winds on Saturday, we had to scramble to restring many of the lights that had already been set,” said Dallas.
Dallas said it was great to see so many boats parading. “When I began working on the parade with Richard Remmer back in 2015, we only had seven boats.”
The 13-foot Eltro named Stormy C, captained by Chris Almond, was voted this year’s winner by all the participating captains.
Dallas said special thanks also goes out to all of the boat captains, the Suffolk County Police Department, the Town of Islip and the Great River and Oakdale/West Sayville volunteer fire departments. “Also, a very big thank you to Sea Tow, who provided a boat that was used to show the participants where the turnaround point was,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful event that continues to grow by the year. It really helps everyone get into the holiday spirit. I can’t wait to be a part of it again next year,” he said.
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