Sag Harbor Historical Society Wants People To Light Up Their Homes For The Holidays

An undated Christmas card painted by Annie Cooper Boyd. COURTESY SAG HARBOR HISTORICAL SOCIETY

It’s a given that 2020 has been one of the gloomiest years in memory. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic putting the kibosh on holiday plans for so many people, the Sag Harbor Historical Society has dreamed up a way to help spread a little community cheer by asking residents to sign up for its “Light Up the Harbor” celebration.

“Given this dismal, dreary, and challenging time, we thought we could lighten everybody’s spirits by asking them to decorate their homes for the holidays,” said Historical Society board member Nancy Remkus. While stressing that the event is not a contest per se, Ms. Remkus said prizes would be given to recognize the top entries in three different categories: creativity, enthusiasm, and originality.

The awards will be presented on Sunday, December 20, at 2 p.m. when the Dickens Carolers, organized by another society board member, Bonnie Grice, will perform outside the society’s headquarters, the Annie Cooper Boyd House on Main Street.

The winners will receive a yard sign, announcing their selection, a glass “Light Up the Harbor 2020” ornament, a copy of Dorothy Zaykowski’s well regarded local history, “Sag Harbor: The Story of an American Beauty,” and a year’s membership to the historical society.

You don’t need a quill pen or parchment paper to sign up. Participants have been asked to simply take a digital photograph of their house all decked out for the holidays and send it to by December 10. The participant’s name, address, and email address are required, so judges can stop by to see the home in all its glory. If you have trouble entering online, call the society at 631-725-5092.

The event is open to residents of Sag Harbor Village as well as the Sag Harbor school and fire districts. One caveat to remember: Houses have to be visible from the street.
At the December 20 gathering at the Annie Cooper Boyd House, the society will be selling copies of Sag Harbor books with a local history theme, including Ms. Zaykowski’s history, as well as “Anchor to Windward: The Paintings and Diaries of Annie Cooper Boyd,” that will be pre-wrapped for holiday gift-giving.

Ms. Remkus said the society hoped the event would help rekindle a sense of community spirit during the holidays, even if family gatherings are limited. “I remember when we were kids, we’d drive around to check out the holiday decorations,” she said. “We hope this will help get people excited about the holidays.”