Hundreds of people donned winter coats and sipped hot cocoa last Friday at Manhasset’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Mary Jane Davies Green, across the street from North Hempstead Town Hall.
“It’s heartwarming to see all of you here,” Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth said. “It’s a great opportunity for families and friends to come together and celebrate the magic of the holiday season.”
The event included a Pledge of Allegiance led by the Manhasset American Legion, a blessing from local clergy, a performance by the Manhasset High School Brass Choir, and awards for the winners of a poster contest organized by the Manhasset Chamber of Commerce. The gathering concluded with the lighting of the tree.
“I love to come celebrate and see my brothers with the American Legion,” said Tony Bianco, a member of the organization’s Manhasset Post 304.
“It’s a great chance to spend time together.”
Cheryl Lee, who works for the receiver of taxes at Town Hall, said she has come to the event for six years in a row.
“This time of year people are more friendly and more caring to their fellow people,” she said.
“Except when we’re trying to leave tonight. Then there will be a lot of road rage.”
Tom Bagnato, who has lived in Manhasset for almost 25 years, said the family-oriented gathering offered him a way to celebrate the holidays with his daughter and grandchildren.
“What could be better?” he asked.