Today’s news:

Holiday lights return to Morris Park

Morris Park will be decking the halls once again as the holiday light tradition returns to the area, after its upsetting disappearance in 2007.

Last year that area was bare due to confusion amongst organizations and business owners. The Morris Park Alliance, which once was in charge of planning the even each year, was unable to bring all the businesses along the strip together to raise enough funding.

In past years, if the Morris Park Alliance did not organize the event other groups such as the Morris Park Community Association, and even one year Community Board 11, took over the plan the illuminations.

This year the Morris Park Community Associations has made it their job to oversee the lights and assure residents of the area that a mistake like last year will not happen again.

“Last year it was who was going to take charge of it, and this year no one was stepping up so we decided to take it upon ourselves to put up the lights,” said Al D’Angelo, president of MPCA. “People were really upset last year when the lights didn’t go up, so I promised when I became president that we would have lights.”

The lights will extend from Pelham Parkway to Morris Park, and then down to White Plains Road, together adding up to approximately 40 strands and costing an estimated $ 24,000.

Stores in the area are asked to give a donation of $ 100 and in return will receive a certificate from the MPCA to put in their window, so residents of the community know whom to thank for the holiday lights.

“The stores that have donated will get signs and we ask that community members thank them,” said D’Angelo. “Its nice for the community members to recognize the people who went out of their way to make the holidays a little bit brighter.”

This year, donations even came from beyond the business strip and extended into private homes. Members of Matthews Avenue, between Morris Park and Rheinlander Avenues, were so eager to have the holiday lights returned that they gathered together and raised $ 230 to contribute.

“We are very pleased we have lights this year, I see they are starting to put them up already, it just gives the business strip that festive feel and look,” said John Fratta, district manager of community board 11. “I am glad the Morris Park Community Association picked up the ball and ran with it, they filled the void, which is excellent.”

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