Planners Gearing Up For Village Tree Lighting

The 59th annual village ceremony kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Planners for the 59th annual village tree lighting ceremony.
Planners for the 59th annual village tree lighting ceremony.
Written by Althea Robinson

Garden City Chamber of Commerce and Astoria Federal Savings officials are gearing up for the 59th annual village tree lighting ceremony set for Sunday afternoon, Dec. 8, between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. at the Village Gazebo.

While the chamber is the coordinator, Astoria Federal Savings has been the proud supporter of this traditional community event for 19 consecutive years.

Once again, the village tree lighting ceremony is part of the chamber’s overall holiday program which includes the awarding of the Holiday Shop Windows on Franklin Avenue, Seventh Street and New Hyde Park Road. Judging will take place on Thursday, Dec. 12.

As in the past, Santa Claus will arrive on a Garden City fire truck and assist Mayor John Watras in the lighting of the village trees – one at the Village Gazebo; the other at the mall at Franklin and Stewart Avenues.

Bringing in the sounds of the season for many years will be the Garden City High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Stephen Mayo, plus the Fivestone Contemporary Rock Band, which, for many years has performed at the chamber’s Fall Festival Street Fair and the spring Belmont Festival.

An added attraction this year will be the young Garden City Recreation dancers.   As always, King’s mascot, “Kingsley Bear,” will be on hand for photo-ops with the youngsters. The Garden City Fire Department will provide hot chocolate and local eateries will graciously provide cookies for spectators. 

Planners for the ceremony include Tom McCambridge, chamber 1st vice president; Althea Robinson, chamber executive director; Patricia Donnelly, chamber director and manager of Astoria Federal Savings; Stephanie Cullum, chamber president; Lou Greco, Astoria Federal Savings regional manager; John Appelt, chamber 2nd vice president; and Kevin Ocker, chairman, Board of Commissioners of Cultural and Recreational Affairs.