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Despite chilly weather, the annual tree lighting held on Sunday, Dec. 7, at Blumenfeld Park was a warm event.

This year the tree was lit in memory of Austin Collins, and the Reverend Charles Vogeley from the Lutheran Church of Our Savior offered the blessing of the season. Several attendees purchased personalized ornaments to honor or remember loved ones.

The live nativity pageant with some "local" angels holding their candles and the shepherds watching the flock moved and delighted the onlookers. Bob Pape narrated the Christmas story.

Everyone was in good voice as they sang traditional Christmas songs around the tree and nativity while holding candles. This portion of the event ended fittingly with a beautiful singing of "Silent Night" led by Peter Wickham.

Then the moment the children had been waiting for was musically cued with "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town." Several people donned light up red noses (ala Rudolph) and reindeer antlers to add to the fun and excitement for the children, who all received a present from the man in the red suit (aka Tom Sullivan).

Special thanks to Finn McCools Restaurant and Ayhan's Shish Kebab Restaurant for donating the free hot chocolate and goodies and to Falconer's and Calabrese Landscaping Contractors for providing the decorations.

"The tree lighting has truly become a tradition for many Port Washington families," said Vinny Costa, in his introductory remarks. He's so right.


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