It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Shelter Island

A Shelter Island tradition comes to light next Wednesday with the annual Christmas tree lighting (Credit: Beverlea Walz)

A Shelter Island tradition returns Dec. 2 with the annual Christmas tree lighting (Credit: Beverlea Walz)

If you’re looking for a real down-home Christmas tree lighting, nothing beats Shelter Island’s annual event, which unofficially ushers in the holiday season on the island.

Hosted by the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce, a live Norway Spruce grown outside the town police department will be lit Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. WLNG Radio will be there and members of the Shelter Island High School band will perform. As many as 120 people attended last year’s event.

The festivities will include Christmas carols; revelers can also head to the Youth Center at the American Legion for refreshments. Hot chocolate will be provided by Stars Café this year, while home-baked cookies will be supplied by local residents for all to enjoy. Both Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will make appearances.

A popular island tradition for decades, in the last few years the chamber of commerce has gotten the business community involved with programs like “Decorate Your Door,” an initiative to have local shops decorate their storefronts, and “Shop the Rock.”

“Last year was the first year [for Decorate Your Door] and it was a huge success,” explained Chamber of Commerce board member Michael Brennan. “So they’ve decided  to do it again this year for all the local businesses to decorate their doors.”

“Shop the Rock is a year-round program to encourage people to come over to Shelter Island and shop,” added Brennan. “We want to encourage people to come and attend the event. It’s a fun event, especially for kids, and we want to encourage people to shop the rock this year.”

The annual Shelter Island Chamber Tree Lighting will take place Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. The Shelter Island Police Department is located at 44 N. Ferry Road. For more information, visit