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Giant puppets coming to Stony Brook Holiday Festival

The Holiday Festival in Stony Brook Village.

The Holiday Festival in Stony Brook Village. Credit: Ward Melville Heritage Organization of WMHO

History comes alive Dec. 8 with the 40th annual Holiday Festival in Stony Brook Village.

The festival will feature a parade of 14-foot puppets representing founding members of Stony Brook. They include members of the Culper Spy Ring, who helped spy on the British for George Washington; Captain Jonas Smith, who owned Hallock Homestead, now the Three Village Inn, and considered Long Island’s first millionaire, and philanthropists Ward and Dorothy Melville.

The parade of puppets begins at 2:15 pm at the Stony Brook Fire Department at 147 Main St.

There’ll be festivities throughout the day, including performances by local community bands, a holiday train display, live music from WALK Radio, holiday carolers, decorated holiday windows at Wiggs Opticians (125 Main St.) and a petting zoo.

Santa will be on hand from 2 to 5 pm to meet with kids and listen to their holiday requests. He will arriving at the post office on the village green on a Stony Brook Fire Department truck.

At 5:30, Santa returns again to the post office on the fire department’s 3,000-light float for the annual tree lighting.

The Promenade of Trees, 60 trees decorated for the holiday season, will be on display throughout the village through Jan. 3.

The holiday festival is a tradition started by Ward Melville years ago, with Santa arriving by helicopter on the village green, says Gloria Rocchio, president of the Ward Melville Heritage Organization, a nonprofit that preserves historic and environmentally sensitive properties in the area.

“This event has evolved over the years and we recently included this giant puppetry art so the Long Island community could learn about the deep history of this area,” Rocchio says.

The Stony Brook Holiday Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 8. For more information, call 631-751-2244 or go to

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