It’s got to be one of the coolest — well, hottest — Halloween-time events on Long Island.
The Long Island Maritime Museum brings the heat again this Friday, Oct. 25, at its 30th annual Halloween Boat Burning in West Sayville.
Thousands of locals are expected turn out for the traditional bonfire, based loosely on the Norse tradition of a Viking funeral. The main difference: the funeral is simply for the burning boat, not for some bearded giant dude.
This year’s honoree is a beyond-repair 1963 Chris Craft, measuring 36 feet. The museum each year gets a donation of a large, wooden boat that has outlived its usefulness. The boat is set ablaze (see video below) in the center of the museum’s waterfront property, and the attendees watch in awe.
Here’s what else you should know before heading down to the museum.
Where and when
The museum is located at 88 West Ave. in West Sayville. The event runs from 5-9 p.m.
Tickets are $5 per person. Children under 5 are free. Click here to purchase tickets online.
Under their eyes
Members of the West Sayville Fire Department inspect the vessel, then start and control the bonfire.
Remember, this is a Halloween event
The event is extremely family oriented. Children are encouraged to come dressed in their Halloween costumes. But leave the pooch at home. Pets are not allowed at the bonfire.
A chance to win a boat
Toward the end of the event, organizers will raffle off a gorgeous Sea Island Kayak built by museum volunteers. A boat built by volunteers is raffled off each year.
About the burning boat named ‘Heidi Lee’
Powered by twin 454 Crusader gasoline engines, the Chris Craft was formally christened Heidi Lee. It was owned by the Krieger family for 30 years, before it was sold in the 1990s and subsequently passed through numerous owners. “She has had a good run and the museum plans to give her a proper and fitting send-off,” read a statement put out by the museum.
For a good cause
The funds raised at the boat burning will go toward the Long Island Maritime Museum.