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Holiday Lighting Ceremony Brings Community Together

Christmas Tree and Menorah lighting at Klestinec Park draws big crowds.

Massapequa gathered to usher in the yuletide season as the annual Holiday Lighting ceremony was held in this past Saturday evening.

With a section of Broadway cordoned off by Nassau County police to make room for the Town of Oyster Bay's showmobile, a record-breaking crowd turned out to witness the lighting of the Hanukah Menorah and Christmas tree, as presided over by Oyster Bay supervisor John Venditto.

"From the Town of Oyster Bay to you and your families, please accept our wishes for a Merry Christmas, a happy Hanukah, and a happy and healthy New Year," Venditto said to the parents and children of the audience.

Eager to give the gathered crowd what they came for, Venditto, Massapequa Chamber of Commerce president Phyllis Doria, Massapequa Park mayor James Altadonna, and the other assembled politicians and civic leaders quickly got to the meat and potatoes of the evening- the lighting ceremony.

With a quick countdown echoed by every holiday reveler present, Venditto lit both the Menorah and Christmas tree erected in Klestinec Park, officially kicking off the holiday season in Massapequa.

However, the evening was only getting started, with festive dance numbers provided the students of A Step Above, a local dance school, and a visit by Santa Claus himself, ushered to Klestinec Park by none other than the Massapequa Fire Department.

After greeting the crowd from the stage of the showmobile, Santa took a seat in the gazebo of Klestinec Park, where one by one, the good little boys and girls of Massapequa all took turns telling him of all the expensive touch screen electronics they wanted to find under their Christmas tree this holiday season.

Lois Munch had brought her grandchildren to experience the magic of the Klestinec lighting ceremony.

“I love these things, and so do my grandkids,” she said. “We like to stretch out the holidays as long as possible, because it’s such a magical time. Last week we went to the one in , and now we’re here.”

Nathan Helmsley and his son also enjoyed the lighting ceremony.

“The sooner the Christmas season starts, the better,” he said. “Kids grown up too fast these days, so I’ll try and cherish these times we have together at events like these while they last.”

Marion Murphy December 06, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Funny how there is no mention that the East Lake Hand Bell Choir was there to perform holiday songs. They had practiced so hard for this night. Unfortunately, they could not be heard at all due to the extremely poor sound system that was in place for the evening. Let's not forget the seven large men putting down a dance floor and talking about it right in front of them during their performance. How rude and disrespectful to 21 children trying to perform in spite of them. If anything they are owed at the very least an apology. Ironic how when confronted the dance people were told they should do the set up at that time and the woman in the white coat (pictured above) who looked like she was running the show said they were not suppose to do that. Now no mention that the the Handbell Choir even performed that night in the Massapequa Patch! By the way, most of the crowd could not hear Venditto or anyone else speaking either. The only thing you could hear was the dance music and that is not sarcasm. Happy Holidays!
Marion Murphy December 06, 2011 at 03:18 PM
After re-reading my comments i want to make one thing clear so that there is no misunderstanding. The children who danced were fabulous and a lot of fun to watch. I do not want to take away from their performances.
Chris Boyle December 06, 2011 at 06:49 PM
Marion- you are correct about the problems with the sound system that night. After the dancers finished their set, I went over to take pictures of the Christmas tree and Menorah, in addition to getting some shots of Santa. If the East Lake Hand Bell Choir was singing while I was doing that, I certainly didn't hear them at all.
lydia magaddino January 31, 2012 at 09:07 AM
Marion,They also failed to mention South Shore dance, that was their dance floor that was used not A Step Aboves the students at A Step Above and I enjoyed East Lakes Performance our students were wearing the red sweatshirts in the front row. I am so sorry the students did not get the recognition they deserved. Lydia

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