Tree bonfire provides Friday night lights

It was a cold, dark and snowy night that got very warm and very bright very quickly. 

With the holiday season at a close, residents gathered at Riverhead Beach to set their Christmas trees ablaze. With the lights, garlands and ornaments taken down and packed away, the trees piled up to be decorated with something else — sparks.

The snow on the half-alive Christmas trees made it a bit difficult to torch the pile, but not impossible. After a slight delay, and with a little help from the Fire Department, the trees burst into flames. As the fire consumed the pile and grew larger, the heap transformed into an abyss of heat and light.

Despite the cold, wet weather, hundreds of people turned out to take part in this tradition. As the bonfire lit up the beach in a warm glow, people posed for selfies and took photos of the amber blaze. Though Christmas is long gone, the bonfire was nothing short of a celebration.