The inclement weather could not put a damper on the annual Christmas Tree lighting in Mineola Friday night. Despite what started out as a slight mist turning into a steady drizzle forcing what is usually an outdoor ceremony into the community center, residents still braved the rain, standing in the small parking lot between Piccola Bussola and the fire department headquarters to watch as mayor Scott Strauss and a group of children from the village sang a few carols themselves a-cappella including “Jingle Bells” (twice) and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
Once the crowd had swelled, the children helped to throw the switch illuminating the 30-ft. spruce, which has served as the village tree since 2004.
Inside the community center, the Chaminade High School Jazz Band provided the evening’s entertainment, playing carols including “Carol of the Bells,” “Jingle Bells” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” paving the way for Saint Nicholas to make his annual entrance via an escort from the Mineola Fire Department after the tree was illuminated. Father Christmas was joined by friends Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman and Sparky the Dalmatian, all of whom were crowded around by the children as the holiday icons made their way into the community center to meet everyone.
Among the other dignitaries present were Mineola Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira, Trustees Paul Cusato, Lawrence Werther and George Durham as well as members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Private Adolph Block Post #1305.
While the children were waiting in line to meet Santa, Piccola Bussola owner Tony Lobrano came in with cups of hot chocolate while members of the Mineola Junior Fire Department handed out handmade s’mores to those in line.