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Throggs Neck tree lighting set for December 6

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The holiday season will start in style at Throggs Neck’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Sunday, December 6. The fun is set for 5 p.m.

Santa Claus plans to stop by the extravaganza. He’ll fly from the North Pole to the tree lighting ceremony thanks to the Edgewater Park Volunteer Hose Company.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, the Throggs Neck Merchants Association and the Menna family will host the lighting at Derosa O’Boyle Triangle, where E. Tremont and Dewey avenues meet. Fr. Sullivan of St. Frances de Chantal will bless the tree. Benedetto encouraged all Throggs Neck residents to attend.

“This will be a delightful start to the holiday season and I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to make it a success: the Menna family, the Throggs Neck Merchants Association, St. Benedict’s Choir, Sister Anne, the Edgewater Park Volunteer Hose Company, the New York City Parks Department and of course, Santa Claus,” the assemblyman said. “I would also like to give a special thanks to Better Gro Gardens for generously donating the Christmas tree. I look forward to seeing everyone at the ceremony.”

St. Benedict’s Children’s Choir will open the ceremony with Christmas carols and lead a sing-a-long. Carols will resonate over a loud speaker thanks to Michael Menna Jr., a former deejay and the owner of Menna Quality Meats on E. Tremont Avenue. The Menna family hosted the first Throggs Neck tree lighting ceremony, hot chocolate and cookies included, more than 25 years ago.

“My dad started the Christmas tree lighting ceremony,” Menna said. “It has grown into something really great and I encourage everyone to attend.”

Throggs Neck Merchants Association president John Cerini is proud that member businesses put up the money for children’s gift bags photos with Santa.

“We have gifts for the first 200 kids,” Cerini said. “Many of our merchants will volunteer at the tree lighting but I want to say a special thank you to all the merchants who put up money to buy gifts for the kids."

Photos with Santa will be available to download from the Throggs Neck Merchants Association website no more than a week after the ceremony, Cereni said. The website is www.throggsneckmerchants.com. The merchants will also raffle off a $75 dollar gift basket courtesy of Yours Truly Flower Shop on E. Tremont Avenue.

Reach reporter Patrick Rocchio at 718 742-3393 or procchio@cnglocal.com

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group