Syosset Woodbury Chamber of Commerce holds 24th annual Holiday Lighting Spectacular
By Madison Kane
Although the weather outside was frightful, it did not stop local residents from having a delightful time at the Syosset Woodbury Chamber of Commerce’s 24th annual Holiday Lighting Spectacular on Sunday, Dec. 4.
Many local businesses, including iSchool of Music and Art, Northwell Health Syosset and Plainview Hospitals, RPG Wealth Management Inc., James Cress Florist, and the Bell Law Group, PLLC, sponsored the event. Upon arrival, the One River School of Art and Design, another event sponsor, held a booth for children to make an arts and crafts project before the show began. A stand with hand warmers was also available for audience members. The evening began with a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by Dylan Linde, followed by a speech from chamber president Russell Green. The microphone was then handed over to elected officials of Nassau County to spread the holiday spirit. Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino, 16th District Legislator Arnie Drucker, 18th District County Legislator Josh Lafazan and New York State Assemblyman-elect Jake Blumencranz were all recognized.
Lafazan felt very strongly about the spirit of the holiday season, as he expressed abundant gratitude towards the community.
“This time of year is amazing, and it’s about so much,” Lafazan said. “It’s about togetherness, it’s about family, it’s about inclusivity. It’s about belonging, my simple messages, it’s also about gratitude. It’s about gratitude for living in the greatest country on Earth. It’s about gratitude for our health, our family and our friends. From the bottom of my heart, it’s about gratitude for continuing to let me serve this community that raised me. I love public service, I love this job, and I love all of you. Thank you and happy holidays.”
Father Mike from St. Edward the Confessor and Rabbi Jay Weinstein from Congregation Simchat HaLev were also called to say a few words about the holiday season.
“We asked God, the Father, to give us the grace to be open to what he wants us to experience during this time of year so that we can have a profound change in our hearts,” Father Mike prayed. “It could help us to grow together. Not only as a community here in Oyster Bay and Syosset, but a community that can expand out to the whole world and love and joy that we all share together.”
Rabbi Weinstein added, “Experience a holiday season that’s magical, filled with family and friends, warmth, deep spiritual nourishment, meaning, and joy. In this season of miracles, teach us G-d to treasure each day and the blessings that we have in our lives, and the blessings we have in the practice of our own individual faith traditions. Open our hearts to the radiance that shines forth from every human soul.”
After many thoughts about the holiday season were shared, the performances started.
The first act was a North Shore Performing Arts Center dance called “Marshmallow World.”
Member of North Shore Performing Arts Center, Emma Sanders, has been performing at the tree lighting since 2018. Each year, Sanders always looks forward to the next tree lighting, as she always has a great time spreading holiday spirit through art.
“The radiant positivity that the audience brings is something I constantly look forward to,” she said. “We have been a part of this tradition for so many years and it’s not only fun practicing in the studio, but being able to perform in front of an audience who genuinely enjoys our performance, and the Christmas spirit we bring.”
Outstanding performances followed the opening act. The performances that came after “Marshmallow World” were “Jingle Bell Rock” by the Syosset High School (SHS) Adelettes, “Frosty the Snowman” by the SHS Adelettes and Choral Pride, “Silent Night” by The Children’s Orchestra Society Mallets and Bars, “Winter Wonderland” by Luca Alexandro, an “All I Want for Christmas” dance by North Shore Performing Arts Center, “Ave Maria” by The Elite Ensemble of the Children’s Orchestra Society, “Silver Bells” and “Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah” by the iSchool of Music and Art Choir, “Baby Please Come Home for Christmas” and “Jingle Bell Rock” by the iSchool of Music and Art Choir, and to finish off, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” performed by Dylan Linde.
After Linde finished belting out the lyrics to the Christmas classic, Santa arrived on the scene, escorted by the Syosset Fire Department. Seconds after his arrival, the beautiful Christmas tree stood tall, fully lit up, spreading holiday cheer to downtown Syosset.
Overall, the traditional Holiday Lighting Spectacular was a cheerful event where community members came together to celebrate the holiday season.
—Madison Kane is a sophomore at Jericho High School.