It isn’t easy being the head elf on the Santa float of the Sayville Holiday Parade, according to Zacharia Ferris, 11, who has shouldered the burden since 2015.
This year, a costume shop ran out of the elf outfit he wanted, and the float almost wasn’t finished before the parade Saturday, Ferris said.
“This stuff can get stressful,” the sixth grader said.
But Ferris found a replacement outfit, albeit a size too small, and the float was finally completed, making the parade a success.
A holiday miracle?
“Basically,” he said.
Such were the yuletide dramas at Sayville’s annual post-Thanksgiving celebration, Miracle on Main Street — a daylong event that organizers said would attract thousands to the downtown on Saturday to begin the holiday season.
Some 500 people marched in the parade — from Girl Scouts to firefighters — that was followed by carousel-riding, a gingerbread house competition, earnest talks about Christmas lists with Santa and, in the evening, a slate of musical acts and the tree-lighting ceremony.
Nearby communities may have their own holiday festivals, but Sayville’s stands out, said Eileen Tyznar, a local chamber of commerce board member who helped organize the event.
“Ours offers an old-fashioned community charm,” said Tyznar, 52. “Old Main Street — there’s nothing like it.”
The hundreds that lingered on the quaint, commercial corridor after the parade were a boon for local businesses, according to Angela D’Aguanno, whose store, Rumpelstiltskin Yarns, was filled around noon with shoppers and students in a knitting class.
The annual Main Street event also marked her store’s 11-year anniversary, said D’Aguanno, 51, making the festival especially meaningful.
“It’s a lovely way to herald in the holiday season,” she said.
The parade has been going on for decades, Patty Elovsky, 64, said.
The retired Islip Town worker was sunning herself on a bench in front of Top Hat Barber Shop, where her husband was getting a haircut.
“I’ve been coming to this since 1989,” she said of the parade. “That’s the first year I moved to Sayville.”
What keeps her coming back each year?
“A sense of community,” she said.