Handmade posters line Plandome Road in anticipation of annual tree lighting

Handmade posters line Plandome Road in anticipation of annual tree lighting
The People's United Bank on Plandome Road hosted the poster contest judging and now has posters on display. On the left is Munsey Park sixth grader Carter Schultz's poster, and to the right is fourth grader Megan Fox's. (Photo by Mimi Howard of People's United Bank)

Manhasset’s annual tree lighting ceremony, with music, Santa and recognition of the winners of the Chamber of Commerce’s youth poster contest, is just over a week away.

To gear up for the Dec. 7 event, the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce has placed all of the poster contest entries on display in businesses along Plandome Road.

The chamber receives about 100 submissions annually and selects first-, second- and third-place winners for kindergarten through sixth-grade artists, said State Farm insurance agent Nancy Morris, a Manhasset Chamber of Commerce member who has been running the poster contest for 15 years.

This year’s theme was “all aboard the Manhasset Polar Express.”

Parents and their children enjoy searching through all the stores for their posters, Morris said.

“It’s definitely kind of like a scavenger hunt,” she said.

She calls the winners’ parents to let them know that their child won, but asks that they keep it a surprise for their child.

“The parents really do take this seriously, and they do keep it a secret,” Morris said with a laugh.

She even has an Olympic-style podium for the winners to stand on.

After the tree lighting ceremony, the community can vote on the Chamber of Commerce’s website for one of five finalists to earn the grand prize. The winner is recognized at a chamber luncheon in January.

This year’s tree lighting ceremony will open with the American Legion Post 304 and will include a blessing from the Rev. Marc Herbst of Church of Our Savior Lutheran. Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Anna Kaplan are lined up to speak.

“It’s a longtime tradition and I like to use the word magical when I talk about it because truly when you see how many people from the community show up to be at this event, it’s just one of those nights that’s just magical,” Morris said. “It just totally gets you in the spirit of the holiday.”

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