Elmhurst, NY – On Thursday evening, NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Elmhurst, Jackson Heights), New York State Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Corona, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights), Minwen Yang from the office of NY State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens), students from the Queens High School for Language Studies, PS 13, PS 102, PS 89 and members from several civic organizations gathered at Veterans Grove Playground in Elmhurst, Queens for the neighborhood’s Fifth Annual Holiday Tree Lighting.
The event began with a color guard procession by Boy Scout Troop 17. Local resident Camila Noguera performed a stirring rendition of the United States national anthem. Local students and other attendees sang "Jingle Bell Rock,” “Let It Snow,” "Feliz Navidad" and other popular holiday carols. After the caroling, Dromm read the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore, renowned author and Elmhurst resident whose family’s estate encompassed much of the neighborhood at the beginning of the 19th Century. The poem was also read in Mandarin by Queens High School for Language Studies students. After the reading, attendees were treated to a performance by Evie the Elf. Dromm and Cruz then lit a Christmas tree which was decorated by local students. The end of the event saw a special appearance by Santa Claus himself.
“I am pleased to bring this Holiday Reading and Tree Lighting to the Elmhurst community once again,” said Dromm. “This special event gives local families the opportunity to celebrate the holidays in their own neighborhood. I thank Senator Stavisky, Assemblywoman Cruz, the Queens High School for Language Studies, PS 13, PS 102, PS 89, Community Board 4 Queens, Corona Ambulance, Corona Plaza Business Alliance, Elmhurst Supporters of Parks, the Newtown Civic Association, the Perna Foundation for Kids, the Queens Economic Development Corporation, the Elmhurst History and Cemeteries Preservation Society, and all the other participants for helping me establish this important local holiday tradition.”
Photo caption – (left to right): Community Board 4 Queens District Manager Christian Cassagnol; local resident Samantha Zuniga; NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm; Carolyn Tran, Dromm's chief of staff; Newtown Civic Association Board Member Jennifer Ochoa; and Elmhurst History & Cemeteries Preservation Society Co-Founders Marialena Giampino and James McMenamin celebrate the holidays at the Fifth Annual Holiday Tree Lighting in Veterans Grove Playground, Elmhurst.