A horse-drawn sleigh will once again usher in the holiday season in Waterbury-LaSalle this year on Sunday, December 8.
The Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association’s Christmas Tree lighting and visit from Santa Claus will take place starting at 4:45 p.m., across the street from P.S. 14 and the First Lutheran Church of Throggs Neck in Schneider-Sampson Park.
The event has become something of an annual tradition for close to 20 years, said WLCA board member Andrew Chirico, who volunteers his time each year to support the program. There should be music, gifts, and perhaps hot chocolate, in addition to the tree lighting and visit from St. Nick.
“We have been having this event for about 18 or 19 years,” he said. “It is a nice thing for the children to have a neighborhood tree and a Santa Claus visit them in the neighborhood.”
The WLCA partners with local east Bronx businesses and organizations that make donations to the annual event, and the community association handles it every year without help from anyone but a handful of a few private donors.
“We struggle to get a few donations we do have to hold our celebration; no one big supports us,” he said. “We try to do the entire production ourselves. Everybody is a volunteer.”
The day would not be possible if it were not from donations from companies like Chateau Stables, which has donated the horse drawn carriage that Santa Claus rides in every year since the first year. Local resident Gloria McGill and her daughter Anita run the company.
She makes the donation every holiday season to spread Christmas cheer around the east Bronx nabe, she said.
“It is always nice it bring smiles to the faces of people who may have had a difficult year,” said McGill.
The Christmas tree that will be decorated and lit by the WLCA is donated by Joseph Torrioni of Colonial Home Improvements, a contractor at 3255 Laconia Avenue.
Also making this year special will be performances by the P.S. 14 choir and the Primavera Italian Language Program, said Chirico.