2005-12-07 / Front Page

Santa’s Welcome A Blockbuster

Photo Rose AlbergoPhoto Rose Albergo With a personal invitation from the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition (CALDC), Santa made his first appearance of the season Monday evening when, accompanied by Mrs. Claus he came to the Queens Borough Public Library, Broadway branch, in his limousine, and what a grand appearance it was! He was greeted by a phenomenal crowd of hundreds of children and their parents who cheered Santa’s arrival and then lined up around the block to get a chance to see Santa personally.

The festivities began at 4:30 p.m. with sounds of the season playing as the children eagerly awaited Santa’s arrival. Julian Wager, president of the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition Inc. (CALDC), welcomed everyone and introduced Tom Galante, director of the Queens Library, who commented on the wonderful community spirit at the event and thanked CALDC for hosting the event at the library. Astoria’s local elected officials, including state Senator George Onorato, City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr., Assemblymembers Michael Gianaris and Catherine Nolan, and Councilmember Eric Gioia also welcomed the crowd and began the countdown to Santa’s arrival.

Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived at 5 p.m. to enthusiastic cheers from the crowd. Quite a singer, Santa gave his rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, which was met with thunderous applause. The children then lined up around the block to receive a book from Santa and Mrs. Claus while proud parents took pictures. Wager commented, “The children’s enthusiasm for a gift of a book is captivating and wonderful!”

Santa’s visit was sponsored by the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition in conjunction with the Steinway Street Business Improvement District, Broadway Merchants & Professionals Association, 30th Avenue Business Association and the 36th Avenue Merchants with the cooperation of the Queens Borough Public Library. The event was funded in part by Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. through the New York City Department of Small Business Services.

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