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Throggs Neck gets ready for holiday lights

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‘Tis the season to enjoy the lights! The Throggs Neck Merchants Association has begun the process of organizing the holiday lights that dazzle the business strip each year.

Soon shoppers will be drawn into the joyous spirit along the business corridor as the run their errands and prepare for the upcoming holidays.

An annual tradition for many years, the TNMA has been expanding the lights each year, last year extending down to Coddington Avenue with the help of some enthusiastic business owners.

Approximately $ 24,000 was spent last year on the 46 strands of lights that illuminated E. Tremont Avenue, attracting people from all over the Bronx.

“We’ve been getting more and more recognition every year. Last year we were in the news as one of the brightest communities in the Bronx,” said John Cerini, president of the TNMA. “For an area without a BID that was a big accomplishment. People are coming from all over to shop here and eat at our restaurants.”

This year, with many businesses feeling the burden of the tough economy, Cerini hopes to match what they had last year, lowering the price to participate in the lights by 10%.

“The economy has taken its toll and many of the businesses can’t contribute, but we will continue to reach out and are offering a stimulus rebate,” said Cerini.

Stores that contribute will receive a bright certificate to display in the window, and Cerini hopes residents will take the time to thank those that have participated, and to encourage store owners that may have not. A list of the participants will be available on the website at www.throggsneckmerchants.com.

“If the store owners know that the residents really appreciate it, we will get more stores to start contributi­ng,” said Cerini.

In conjunction with the holiday lights, the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, will be held Sunday, December 6 at 5 p.m. Approximately 200 toys will be handed out to children, who will also have the chance to take a photo with Santa. Photos will be posted up on the TNMA website for people to view or use to order a personal copy.

Snacks and refreshments will be available through the Menna family and St. Benedict’s Church Choir will be singing carols for the occasion.

Coupon books will be available during November, December and January through the TNMA for the holiday shopping season.

“The objective is to give Throggs Neck a certain atmosphere during this season,” said Cerini. “We want all our customers and the residents to have a good holiday and enjoy the season. This is our way to say thank you for the patronage they give us throughout the year.”

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