A newly formed Patchogue holiday committee is spinning off the village’s most popular summer festival in hopes of drawing a winter shopping crowd.
Local small business owners are counting on the "Alive After Five Winter Wonderland" to spike up Christmas sales this holiday season.
The one-day event is modeled and named after Patchogue's annual street festival that runs throughout the summer.
The main attraction of the winter street fair will be a skating rink. The Dec. 20 event won't feature the live music, arts, crafts, food and beverages along Main Street that the summer event is known for.
"It's a real family event. It's not going to be a drink fest like 'Alive After Five' gets to be," said Patchogue Village Mayor Paul Pontieri.
The mayor said this is the first time the downtown will have a skating rink.
The 40-by-70 foot synthetic rink will be installed on Main Street in front of the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts. The rink will hold as many as 70 skaters, who will each be allowed to circle around for as long as 30 minutes.
In recent years, Patchogue has emerged as a destination for bars, restaurants and events. Earlier this year, the village created an Art and Culture district hoping to attract visitors and new residents. Pontieri said the skating rink is another push to bring people in.
"It's one more thing to bring to the village," Pontieri said. "It's a great idea and will benefit the merchants."
Lori Belmonte, co-owner of The Colony Shop, formed the holiday committee last month. She said the rink will give customers a new reason to visit downtown.
“We want people to shop and eat at restaurants," she said. "This will bring more people to the streets."
Shoppers who purchase local goods will receive a voucher to skate for free, but those who don’t must pay a fee, officials said. The price has not been set.
David Kennedy, Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce executive director, said business owners are hoping the "Alive After Five" brand makes the event successful.
"This event is about holiday shopping and to entice people to come on down," he said. "When 'Alive After Five' is mentioned in any way shape or form, it piques interest."
He added that many retail stores will have extended shopping hours during the holidays.
The seven-member holiday group is a subcommittee of the business promotions committee of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce.
The committee has established a GoFundMe page to help pay for the rink and other operating costs. The goal is to raise $20,000. The rink costs $14,000 and any extra funds would go toward other activities, officials said.
Pontieri said the four-hour event is the culmination of a monthlong holiday celebration beginning with a Christmas boat parade on Nov. 18, and the annual village Christmas parade on Nov. 24.
Main Street will be closed to traffic between Ocean and Maple avenues for the event.
Four hours of fun
The main attraction of Patchogue's planned winter street fair is an ice skating rink:
Dec. 20: Scheduled date of “Alive After Five Winter Wonderland”
$20,000: Amount the holiday committee is trying to raise for the synthetic ice rink
1: First time there will be a skating rink in downtown Patchogue
$$: Shoppers must purchase goods to receive a voucher to skate for free