It might have been a cold, rainy night, but that didn’t stop residents of Floral Park from coming out to Memorial Park for the village’s annual Christmas tree lighting, which was sponsored by the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce, Floral Park Junior Woman’s Club and Our Lady of Victory Church.
Memorial Park was transformed into a winter wonderland with various food and craft vendors scattered throughout the park inside tents. Some of the participants included Blush and Bashful, Cats Meow, Floral Station Deli, K. Hunter, Oak House, Pita Park, Taco Explosion and the Tulip Sweet Shop.
Residents also had the fun opportunity to skate around the village’s makeshift skating rink in the church’s parking lot across the street from the Christmas village throughout the evening. Ice sculpting was another activity that residents participated in as well.
Right before the Christmas tree was lit, the Our Lady of Victory Children’s Choir, the Floral Park Memorial High School Band and Long Island Sounds performed an array of Christmas classics such as “Silent Night”, “Frosty the Snowman”, “Joy to the World”, “O Come Emmanuel”, and “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.”
Father Thomas Fusco of Our Lady of Victory Church wished the crowd a Merry Christmas before blessing them when Floral Park Mayor Dominic Longobardi and Christmas Festival Committee chair Donna Gammarato took to the stage.
“As I look out this is a huge crowd,” said Longobardi, who thanked everyone who came out. “It’s a great night, but this was a tradition that was started with the junior’s women club many years ago. It has grown into this wonderful night. It is like a Hallmark movie.”
Right after, the village lit the Christmas tree to thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd and Santa Claus came to visit while riding on one of the fire department’s fire trucks.