2017-12-06 / Front Page

Tree lighting Ceremony

CALDC Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting Celebration


The Central Astoria Local Development Coalition’s fifth annual Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting Celebration on the Astoria Park Great Lawn was attended by thousands of local residents on Saturday, December 2. The Central Astoria Local Development Coalition’s fifth annual Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting Celebration on the Astoria Park Great Lawn was attended by thousands of local residents on Saturday, December 2. The Central Astoria Local Development Coalition’s highly anticipated fifth annual Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting Celebration held on Saturday, December 2 on the Astoria Park Great Lawn brought out hundreds of local residents to enjoy a celebration of the most joyous time of year.

The three-hour event featured train rides around the park thrilling youngsters who didn’t mind standing on the long lines munching on fresh hot popcorn. At the same time at the staging area, a holiday magic act by David Cremins fascinated the audience, followed by a children’s interactive dance and music performance by Funkijam celebrating Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa. The event concluded with the wonderful voices of the New York Holiday Choristers and their repertoire of Christmas classics, who led the attendees through sing-alongs of several children’s favorites, such as “Frosty the Snow Man” and “Jingle Bells,” followed by the community tree lighting grand finale. Council Member Costa Constantinides wished everyone a wonderful holiday season, and said he was proud to support the Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting Celebration, that has become a great Astoria tradition. Leading the countdown to the community tree lighting was George L. Stamatiades, President of Central Astoria LDC; Tony Barsamian, Executive Vice President of Central Astoria LDC; ably assisted by Constantinides; NYS Senator Michael Gianaris; Assembly Member Brian Barnwell; Waael Abdallhs, representing Assembly Member Aravella Simotas; and Stacy Eliuk representing Public Advocate Letitia James, who all extended their best wishes to the crowd.


Funkijam preformed and involved the children in song and dance. Funkijam preformed and involved the children in song and dance. Marie Torniali, Executive Director of the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition, said, “this annual event rings in the holiday season for all and is a joyous community celebration. We thank Council Member Constantinides for supporting this event – a celebration of the most special time of year that brings multicultural families and neighbors together. Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa to all!”



A giant toy train gave the children rides around Astoria Park. A giant toy train gave the children rides around Astoria Park.

The New York Holiday Choristers led sing-alongs of holiday favorites. The New York Holiday Choristers led sing-alongs of holiday favorites.

(L. to r.): George L. Stamatiades, President of Central Astoria LDC; Assembly Member Brian Barnwell; Marie Torniali, Executive Director of the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition; NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides; NYS Senator Michael Gianaris; Tony Barsamian, Executive Vice President of Central Astoria LDC; and Stacy Eliuk representing Public Advocate Letitia James. 
Photos Melissa Mennona (L. to r.): George L. Stamatiades, President of Central Astoria LDC; Assembly Member Brian Barnwell; Marie Torniali, Executive Director of the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition; NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides; NYS Senator Michael Gianaris; Tony Barsamian, Executive Vice President of Central Astoria LDC; and Stacy Eliuk representing Public Advocate Letitia James. Photos Melissa Mennona

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