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Hicksville Holds Tree Lighting

Kennedy Park turned into Hicksville’s own winter-wonderland during the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Kennedy Park on Saturday, Dec. 7.

“The Tree Lighting brings the community together,” said James Bentson, the event chairman and member of the Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club. “It’s a really great thing.”

Although the weather was freezing and members of the community were bundled up in their heaviest winter gear, the Lady’s Auxiliary Club was there to hand out hot chocolate to keep everyone warm.

The Hicksville-Jericho Rotary Club as well as the Hicksville Fire Department were in charge of the event. “The Rotary Club organized the ceremony, but the Hicksville Fire Department decorated the tree, brought the fire truck, and brought Santa,” said Bentson.

The events of the night began with Cub Scout Pack 930 as the Honor Guard, and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Girl Scouts then packed onto the showmobile and sang popular Christmas Carols such as “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” and “It’s a Marshmallow World.” The Girl Scout troops that were in attendance were Daisy Troop 3553, Brownie Troops 3595, and 3367, as well as Junior Troops 3362, 3307, 3607, and 3306.

Members of Ella Marie School of Dance performed six different Holiday-themed dances. Ella Marie has been performing in the Tree Lighting Ceremony for about 20 years, according to dance directors Katherine Golub, Annmarie Anderson, and Michelle Rosner.

“The original Ella Marie used to be a part of the Rotary Club,” explained Golub. “That’s how we got involved in the tree lighting.”

Christmas trees were lined up throughout Kennedy Park. Each of the 22 trees was decorated by different organizations. Some groups that decorated the trees included Hicksville Historical Society, Hicksville Boys and Girls Club, The Center for Developmental Diseases, Hicksville Chiropractic Office, St. Ignatius Loyola School, Holy Family School, Cub Scout Pack 930, Cub Scout Pack 381, and many more.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony was originally meant to take place on Friday, Dec. 6, but heavy rains called for a postponement.

Despite the date change, there were not many setbacks and the event went along almost exactly as planned, according to Bentson.

“It was just a thousand phone calls,” he explained. “It was a change in pace, but we had a good crowd here tonight, so it worked out really well.”

 

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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