Babylon Village's annual night of downtown shopping was a big hit again this year, with scores of revelers enjoying late night browsing, music, food and community.
Santa was maybe the biggest star of the night, as he made his rounds on a horse-drawn carriage from one marked "Santa stop" to the next. Children lined up to meet and greet the big guy, while parents enjoyed the photo ops.
Shop owners also took advantage of the Santa factor. Karen Young, owner of , was happy that a Santa stop was in front of her store, helping her young customers and their parents prepare their gift wishlists.
"I hope it's going to be as amazing as last year," she said. By the next day the shop's Facebook page reported the night indeed met expectations and they had even sold out of the "it" item of the year, "The Elf on a Shelf."
Almost every shop that stayed open saw a busy stream of shoppers and browsers. Some businesses, like , , and , set out drinks and appetizers to encourage mingling.
One merchant took advantage of the event to open doors for the very first time: the village's new cheese shop on Deer Park Avenue had a grand opening. A lack of signage or shop name was not enough to deter gourmands who sniffed out the samples on offer and a steady crowd ducked in and out.
High school bands and small groups of carolers entertained the crowds who were fed by zeppole treats from and hot chocolate at . The kept shoppers sustained with hamburgers and sausages.
The crowd was a mixture of local families and visitors from as far afield as across Long Island and Brooklyn and Queens. The event, organized by the Babylon Village Chamber of Commerce, grows in attendance each year.