West End merchants will bring an old holiday tradition back to Garden City Dec. 21 when they host a Christmas tree lighting from 6-7:30 p.m. on Plattsdale Road, next to Garden City Dental Associates.
According to Don Jenkins, a resident of the West, volunteer firefighter and former village trustee, the ceremony hasn't been held on that side of town in approximately 10 years.
"The first year we did it was 1992," he recalls. "...We did it for six or seven years and it was very much arranged by several merchants, [some of which] are still there."
The village board was more than happy to resurrect the tradition.
"We used to have it but it's gone to the wayside a little bit over the years," Mayor Robert Rothschild said. "The commercial owners in the western section on New Hyde Park have asked that we acknowledge that section of the commercial district and I'm very, very happy to do that."
"Sometimes people forget that New Hyde Park Road is part of the village, at least that part of New Hyde Park Road," Rothschild added.
Members of the Garden City Chamber of Commerce are expected to be in attendance along with Western Property Owners' Association (WPOA) president Tom Pinou, who will make a presentation. "We're going to be very active in thanking Don and the merchants for resurrecting this and continuing the tradition," he said.
Get into the holiday spirit with Christmas song and dance performances courtesy of Broadway Bound Dance, including "March of the Wooden Soldiers," "Chipmunk Song," "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "Teach Me How to Jingle." The St. Anne's School choir will also ring in the sounds of the season, as will the Inis Fada Gaelic Pipe Band with holiday bagpipes.
Santa's elves will hand out complementary hot cocoa and cupcakes (The Cupcake Corner), candy canes (Studio B) discount cards and more. Merchants will be "out and about" to meet and greet those in attendance. New Hyde Park Road shops will be open late.
Santa will arrive on a Garden City fire truck after the tree is lit and will be escorted to The Cupcake Corner where children will have the opportunity to sit and take a picture with Mr. Claus himself (also complementary) and receive holiday-themed tattoos and other goodies.
Event details are still being finalized.