Community gathers for first tree lighting of the holiday season


Neighbors from around the Franklin Square community gathered last Saturday for the first tree lighting of the holiday season.

The Morton Civic Association, led by vice presidents Domenico Ciaccio and Joe Romeo, put together the event to kick off the December festivities a bit early.

Though this was the fifth year that the Morton Civic Association held a tree lighting ceremony, Ciaccio said it is the first year the organization has held it with a permanent tree. In past years, the organization has lit a fake tree for the festivity and brought it home after, but this year it was different.

When the Town of Hempstead repaved the Lidl shopping center in Franklin Square on Dogwood Avenue, Ciaccio said it left a space for a tree to be planted. With the help of Pine Oaks Landscape Design and Maintenance, which donated the tree, the civic was able to install a permanent tree for the neighborhood.

“The community is going to grow with this tree,” Ciaccio said.

The festivities included performances by professional carolers, the Garden City Glee Club and more. The Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department escorted Santa to meet his friends in Franklin Square, and the Morton Civic Association gave out pretzels during the event.

For anyone who missed the tree lighting last weekend, the Franklin Square Civic Association will host a tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Rath Park Gazebo Area on Naple Avenue in Franklin Square. The Community League of Garden City South will host a tree lighting later that day at 6 p.m. at 58 Nassau Blvd., West Hempstead.