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Holiday spirit shines bright at annual Christmas tree lighting in Ozone Park

Dec. 6, 2023 By Anthony Medina

A Christmas tree shines brightly once again in Ozone Park for the fifth year in a row, thanks to the efforts of local community organizations and elected officials.

The Ozone Park Block Association, in conjunction with the Woodhaven Lions Club, the Kiwanis Club of Howard beach-Ozone Park-Woodhaven, Our Neighbors Civic Association, and other civic groups brought the holiday spirit to Ozone Park residents through music, food, drinks and toy giveaways on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Volunteers as Santa’s elves help give toys to children. Photo by Anthony Medina

Behind the Reverend Pass Solid Rock Church Building, located at 132-05 Crossbay Blvd. in Ozone Park, decorated pop-up canopy tents housed troves of toys for children to choose from and a special space for photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Even the Grinch that stole Christmas couldn’t take anything away from participants at this year’s Ozone Park Christmas Tree Lighting. Photo by Anthony Medina

Excited event guests wrapped around the exterior of the backyard space and eagerly waited for their chance to meet with Santa and watch the Christmas Tree light-up the night. This year, Assemblymembers Stacy Pheffer Amato and Jenifer Rajkumar, along with state Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., were responsible for the tree’s arrival in the neighborhood.

“I’m a proud lifelong resident of Ozone Park. Born and raised. I’m so proud of Ozone Park,” said Addabbo. “So I want to wish on behalf of myself, my office team, my family to you and yours, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and more importantly a happy, healthy 2024. ”

Santa and Mrs. Claus take their places before greeting hundreds of Ozone Park natives. Photo by Anthony Medina

Sam Esposito, president of the Ozone Park Residents Block Association thanked the members of the Tibball family, especially Thomas and Ronald Tibball, who were instrumental to decorating the tree, providing food, and providing the event with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“This family is deep rooted into Ozone Park like I am, we’ve been here for decades.  My family’s been here since 1924. They’ve been here for 60 years. This is what we do for the community.” Esposito said.

The Alonso family pose for a photo for QNS, waiting the entire night to get their spot next to the Christmas Tree. Photo by Anthony Medina

The newly promoted Commanding Officer of the 106th Precinct Deputy Inspector Jerome G. Bacchi, was also thanked for his attendance along with police officers and members of the auxiliary in attendance.

In looking ahead of many more Christmas tree lighting events to come, the new owners of the church building will continue upholding the Ozone Park tradition for the foreseeable future.

The volunteers and sponsors at this year’s Ozone Park Christmas Tree Lighting event dedicate their time to keep the holiday  tradition alive. Photo by Anthony Medina

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