Written by Katelyn Malloy Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00
New Hyde Park residents gathered Saturday, Dec. 7 to kick off the holiday season when The Village of New Hyde Park hosted their yearly Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Village Hall.
The auditorium at the Marcus Christ Community Center, decorated for this holiday season, filled up quickly as families and local residents came to enjoy the Christmas festivities. Mayor Robert A. Lofaro, who’s been on the board for the last 15 years, welcomed guests.
With the help of New Hyde Park’s Fire Commissioner Mike Bonura and the local fire department, Santa Claus made his arrival in style on a red firetruck meeting up with Mayor Lofaro to flip the tree’s switch, sparking the blue spruce tree in front of the Village Hall.
“I love to light the tree with Santa, and I look forward to this every year,” Lofaro said. “Our sponsors, Valley National Bank and The Greater New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce have been so generous and great. It’s good to see the village come together.”
Lofaro was followed up a interactive and entertaining magic show, performed by The Magic of Amore with Dr. James Lazzarini, who has been incorporated into the event for more than a decade.
Kathy Richards, preschool teacher and owner of Little Treasures Preschool in New Hyde Park, handed out paint sets to children who attended and tuition co, and has enjoyed supporting the tree lighting for over five years.
“I love bringing my kids to this each year. They get a kick out of the performances and seeing Santa every time,” say New Hyde Park resident Raju Bright.
This year, the tree lighting fell on Dec. 7, which marks the 72nd anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The American flag outside Village Hall was raised at half-staff by Veteran Bill Hoffman.
New Hyde Park Memorial High School’s Senior Concert Band directed by Noel Monet entertained attendees as well as the Chamber Singers conducted by Robert McKinnon. Each group performed a series of traditional Christmas songs.
“This event gets everyone in the Christmas spirit. I really enjoy how much the children look foreword to the event and appreciate it,” says Ashley Willoughby, a member of the concert band.
New Hyde Park Cultural Commissioner Lisa Miranda has been in charge of the event for 12 years. “It is so great to able to give back to the community.”