- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2009

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (AP)

A town on New York’s Long Island is hoping for better attendance at its 16th annual holiday boat parade this year by restoring “Christmas” to the event’s name.

The Patchogue Riverfront Committee says it decided to rename the event “Christmas Holiday Boat Parade” after taking over sponsorship from the local Chamber of Commerce.

Last year’s event was renamed “Holiday Boat Parade” after some residents complained that the name wasn’t inclusive enough. But the committee says the ensuing controversy led to a dramatic drop-off in spectators. It says it’s restoring the word “Christmas” to recognize that most of the participants celebrate the holiday.

The parade featuring Santa Claus will be held Sunday on the Patchogue River.

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