A little drizzle didn’t stop families from crowding the memorial plaza in Islip Terrace for the fourth annual Christmas tree lighting.
The winter party at the park at Lowell and Connetquot Avenue started at 6 p.m. with plenty of entertainment. (Scroll down for photos.)
Aside from free pizza and hot cocoa, there was children singing festive tunes, as well as a dance performances from the girls at Dance Art Development Center.
Santa also made a visit.
“I am in this town 40 years and we never had anything like this before,” said the former president of East Islip Community Chamber of Commerce, Joe Gabriel.
The initiative began with the East Islip Community Chamber, whose members became driven to save or replace a dying tree in 2013. (Locals had started calling the old tree the Charlie Brown tree).
“We wanted to see if we could get it going,” explained Gabriel, “well it got going, and it is something big now.”
The chamber’s efforts led to the planting of a new tree last year. The tree was purchased from a eastern Long Island nursery and put in by a local landscaper.
The local fire department even gets in on the community fun by helping light the tree each year.
“It is a really great event,” said Gabriel.
Top: Two little ones watch the tree be lit for the holiday season. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito)