Santa Claus is coming to town – Throggs Neck that is!
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and the Throggs Neck Merchants Association, along with help from a host of community leaders and organizations, will hold an annual Christmas tree lighting at DeRosa O’Boyle Triangle (across from the Throggs Neck Library) on Sunday, December 7 from about 4 p.m. until roughly 8 p.m.
Benedetto has graciously thrown the festive holiday party again this year, providing a Christmas tree and a stage that should see the likes of carolers from St. Benedict Church, a deejay playing holiday songs, and a visit from Saint Nick himself.
About 1,000 toys, courtesy of the Throggs Neck Merchants Association, will be given out to community children. Photos with Santa Claus will be available for each child two days after the event on the Throggs Neck Merchants’ wesbite, www.throggsneckmerchants.com.
“It is a nice event and certainly the Throggs Neck merchants have been wonderful and very generous in their addition to the festivities of the day,” said Benedetto, adding that after TNMA asked to be involved in the event several years ago, it grew.
“We have generally several hundred parents and children at the event wanting to see Santa Claus and to have their picture taken with Santa,” said the assemblyman. “It is a real nice family event and a great beginning to the holiday in Throggs Neck.”
After an on-stage ceremony and choral performances, children and parents will form a line and St. Nicholas will be brought in by the Edgewater Park Volunteer Fire Hose Company.
Coordinating the event for the Throggs Neck Merchants Association, the organization’s treasurer John Cerini, stressed the long history of the event going back years when the Menna family, who ran a butcher shop on E. Tremont Avenue, coordinated the event along with the siting assemblymen from Throggs Neck.
About eight years ago, the merchants association got involved, and raised money for Santa to give gifts to the children, he said.
He spoke about the generosity he sees in the community as different organizations and people rally together to make the event a great one.
“This is really such a celebration and a collaboration,” he said, adding that he expects a crowd somewhere in the ballpark of a thousand people.
He added that he felt that he had to give praise to many people who helped the effort, including: A1 Distributors which will be providing the hot chocolate at the event, deejay Family Affair that will provide recorded Christmas carols, Sister Anne Kelly of St. Benedict’s choir, the Edgewater Park Volunteer Hose Company, the Throggs Neck Volunteer Fire Department, about 40 student volunteers from Preston and Herbert H. Lehman high schools, and many others.
Benedetto said that there will also be a blessing for by clergy from St. Benedict’s.
The merchants group also raised about $25,000 for holiday lights for East Tremont Avenue, said Cerini.
Each merchant who donated to the holiday lights effort will display a poster in their window.
Cerini asks that residents patronize the shops who donated to the lighting effort and thank the merchants..