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New Hyde Park Hosts Annual Tree Lighting

Residents gather to kick off holiday season

New Hyde Park Village Hall was all aglow on Saturday, Dec. 1, as the village hosted its annual Christmas tree lighting and magic show. Valley National Bank and the Village of New Hyde Park Cultural Commission sponsored the event, which was held at the Marcus Christ Community Center.

“On behalf of the Village of New Hyde Park, I’d like to welcome you all to the annual tree lighting ceremony,” Trustee Donald B. Barbieri said to a standing-room-only crowd. “I want to first thank Rich DeMartino and Mary Durkin from Valley National Bank for sponsoring the event today. They’ve been good friends of ours for many, many years,” he said. Indeed, as in previous years, DeMartino and Durkin presented a check for the event’s magic show. This year, guests were entertained by Amore, a magician who engaged audience members of all ages.

“I want to take one more second to thank Lisa Miranda from our Cultural Commission,” Barbieri continued. “We all went through this horrible month and it’s wonderful that we can move right into this terrific season and all be here together to kick this off and enjoy it together.”

The magic show was followed by live holiday music performed by the New Hyde Park Memorial High School choir and band.

While the choir sang its final song and the band played its final tune, the sun sank deeper, setting the stage for the main event of the day. As guests prepared to head outdoors onto the front lawn of Village Hall to witness the tree lighting, they received one more treat: Teachers from Little Treasures Nursery School surprised the children in the room by giving each of them a gift.

Once outdoors, guests heard the sirens then saw the bright lights of a New Hyde Park fire truck, which stopped in front of village hall carrying a very special passenger. Santa Claus jumped down from the truck and made his way through the crowd, stopping along the way to greet children and listen to their Christmas wishes. Before long, he made his way up the front steps of village hall and with help from Barbieri, DeMartino, Durkin, Deputy Mayor Robert A. Lofaro and Trustee Lawrence J. Montreuil, Santa flipped the switch to illuminate the village’s Christmas tree.

With that, the holiday season officially began in New Hyde Park.

News

The Village of New Hyde Park finished its Operation Main Street project just in time, because the town’s eligibility for federal funds is shrinking, officials announced last week.

“The qualifications revolve around money,” trustee Donald Barbieri said. “Like how much income is being earned by people in the area. I guess as seniors move on, you can’t buy an [expensive home] and it changed the demographic, shrinking our eligible area.”

The Village of New Hyde Park will soon hear Manhattan businessman Sam Chan’s proposal to open a 84-seat hibachi-style restaurant at 1215 Jericho Tpke. in New Hyde Park, the former spot of the maligned Empire Billiards Hall. The hearing is set for Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

“The board will be hearing the case for restaurant usage,” Mayor Robert Lofaro said. “This will also have to go before the zoning board. They will likely hear the case.”


Sports

New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis d’Arnaud brightened the day for some patients at Cohen Children’s Medical Center last week in New Hyde Park, posing for pictures and handing out gifts and autographs. The players hung out with the kids in the afternoon, playing video games and answering questions.

They also found the time to make the rounds, stopping by bedsides to spread some cheer. Mr. Met also joined the tour and was a big hit with the children, who peppered him with questions about everything from his four-fingered hand to the whereabouts of the missing Mrs. Met.

The Sewanhaka Indians football team has a season of change in store.

The Indians have moved up from Conference III to Conference II, due to an increase in enrollment, and are set to face teams that they have never seen before, according to head coach George Kasimatis.

“It is hard to gauge where we will be in this conference,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty as where we fit in.”


Calendar

Library Board Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Welcome Reception

Wednesday, Sept. 3

Herricks School Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



Columns

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

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com