Sirens sounded and kids shouted, “It’s starting! It’s starting” as the annual Moriches Fire Department Parade of Lights began marching down Main Street on Saturday.
Bundled in hats, scarves and heavy jackets, families clustered together, and met one other on the sidelines with kisses and hugs and wished each other a Merry Christmas.
Local children held up signs to where community members could get coffee and hot chocolate, and vendors passed by selling glow sticks, light-up swords and flowers to the thousands of people that lined the sidewalks.
“It’s a great start to the holidays being right after the Christmas tree lighting,” said Judith Savino, president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Moriches. “The sidewalks have just been redone with new garbage pails and benches, and decorations were just hung as well as flower pots thanks to the Chamber of Commerce. Between what we do and what the fire department does with the parade, it’s a wonderful thing.”
JR Saetran, chief of the Center Moriches Fire Department, said the parade has been going on for over 30 years.
“It’s a huge success and the town loves it, Main Street is packed and children love the lights,” said Saetran, 53, of Center Moriches. “And at the end, they pass their letters in to the mail service for Santa.”
Over 50 organizations marched in the parade. And since each group makes its own float, Saetran said it does not cost anything to run.
Charles Mineo, 61, of Mastic, and a fireman at the Center Moriches Fire Department, said he loves seeing all of the fire trucks and floats lit up.
“The town is packed wall to wall,” he said. “It’s great, and really beautiful at night.”
George Eagan, 84, of East Moriches said the parade was a huge success.
“It’s terrific,” he said. “It seems by the look of it that everyone in town is watching. The kids love the excitement, and really, everyone loves it.”