Editor’s Note: This article was written and submitted by Chris Boyle.
A frosty sheet of December rain wasn’t enough to deter the Bellmore Chamber of Commerce from holding their Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Extravaganza, nor was it enough to deter Bellmore residents from coming out to enjoy the festive annual tradition with their families.
Chamber president Debby Izzo oversaw the lighting ceremony and welcomed the cheerful crowd packed into the Veteran’s Memorial at the corner of Bedford and Broadway in Bellmore Village.Like Bellmore Patch on Facebook by clicking here.
“I want to welcome you to the Bellmore Chamber of Commerce’s 16th annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Extravaganza,” Izzo said. “We hope you all enjoy the evening that the Chamber has put together. Please show your appreciation for all that’s happening here tonight by patronizing all of our Chamber members and local merchants of Bellmore, not only this holiday season, but throughout the year.”
Attendees were treated to hot chocolate and popcorn sold by the Bellmore Kiwanis Club (with proceeds going to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy), horse-drawn carriage rides along Bedford Avenue, holiday music and an overall yuletide cheer.
Legis. David Denenberg, D-Merrick, spoke at the lighting, and pointed out that Bellmore residents have a great deal to be thankful for this holiday season after making it through the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy.
“For the last month-and-a-half, we were battered a little bit,” Denenberg said. “But we’re helping each other, neighbor helping neighbor, come through this disaster and that’s a lot like the holiday season. You’re with your loved ones, you’re with your neighbors and you put your priorities straight, which are family and friends. And I know that we’re going to emerge from this disaster ever stronger. Bellmore will never be better.”
Hempstead Town Clerk Mark Bonilla also attended the lighting ceremony and gave a special piece of advice to all the children in attendance.
“I need for you to give the best Christmas gift that you can to your parents...not fighting with your brothers and your sisters,” Bonilla said. “Can you do that for me? But what we in government want more than anything is for you to have a good, safe holiday season and to always remember how blessed we are.”
After toe-tapping caroling performed by a quartet called Sound Approach and a huge choir from the North Bellmore school district, the crowd counted down the seconds to the lighting of the Christmas tree. When the count reached zero, the 2,700 bulbs sprang to electric life, signaling that the holiday season was truly here.
Nancy Kincaide is a regular at the Chamber’s Holiday Lighting Extravaganza, and said that this year’s was one of its best ever.
“I love all the effort that the Chamber puts into the lighting ceremony year after year,” Kincaide said. “It’s a beautiful event that’s loaded with fun and personality. My kids and I come every year and we always have a great time!”What did you think of this year’s event? Tell us in the comments section below.
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