A beautifully-decorated village, numerous, festive holiday events and an evening with temperatures in the high 40s brought throngs of people to the Lighting of Malverne last Saturday, a event which has been held in the village for decades.
When asked how many people attended the event, Malverne Mayor Patricia McDonald said, “It’s definitely in the thousands. People are spread out throughout the village, so it may not look like that.”
It definitely seemed like that when the community came together at the corner of Utterby and Hempstead avenues to witness the blessing of the crèche and waited for the giant light switch to be flipped to illuminate the village Christmas tree. “It’s definitely one of the biggest Lightings we’ve had,” said John Oddo of the Malverne Police Department. “It was very easy to stay outside and enjoy it for several hours because it wasn’t freezing.”
The Lighting of Malverne started each year, as it normally does, on a Thursday, when three different cookie workshops were held in the Malverne Library’s community room. The next day, an ornament workshop was held, as is tradition, in village hall. Both events lead up the day of the Lighting, which ran non-stop, starting with a 9 a.m. breakfast with Santa (the first of three) to movies with Santa (this year, the children saw the movie “Minions” during two different sittings), bowling with Santa at Sandee Lanes, and ultimately the evening of the lighting.
This year brought several new firsts to the Lighting’s traditional festivities, including the Grace Lutheran Choir, which sang prior to the blessing of the crèche, and lots of activity at Crossroads Farm, which offered free evening hayrides around parts of the farm’s perimeter, which was lit by holiday lights. The farm also hosted several concerts by local artists, several theatre performances by the Malverne Community Theatre group who performed “How I Met Your Santa”, and held a holiday decoration exchange event.