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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.”