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Islip winter fest reopens Tuesday

On a day when few events were open, it may have seemed too good to be true that the Town of Islip was keeping open its annual holiday festival, 'Winter by the Bay,' on Monday.

It was.

Though the homepage of the town's website featured a banner message announcing that the event was "now open" throughout most of the day on Monday, it was closed.

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The third-annual winter celebration opened as planned Sunday but had low attendance and closed early, about 3 p.m., when the wind picked up, said town spokesman Kevin Bonner. The town decided to close the event Monday because the parks department personnel who run "Winter by the Bay" were helping the town with storm cleanup.

Bonner said Parks Commissioner Greg Dawson decided not to open Monday at 11:30 a.m. The town's website did not reflect the festival closing until about 2:30 p.m., and Bonner said the town fielded many calls asking if it was still on.

“That’s our fault,” Bonner said. “It’s been a crazy busy day. We couldn’t update it quick enough. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we hope everyone comes out tomorrow. It’ll be great.”

Later in the afternoon Monday, Supervisor Phil Nolan declared a snow emergency, retroactive as of Sunday. The declaration allows the supervisor to throw all necessary town resources at storm-related hazards.

"Winter by the Bay" will take place from noon to 8 p.m. on Dec. 28 and 29, and on Jan. 1 and 2 at the Ronkonkoma Recreation Center, 299 Rosevale Ave., Ronkonkoma.

There will be free ice skating, horse and buggy rides, sledding, snowman-making contests, a fireside lounge with refreshments and other activities provided by the town in recognition of the holidays.

This is the first year the event is being held at Lake Ronkonkoma. Previously, it took place at Bay Shore Marina.

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