2018-12-05 / Front Page

Festival & Tree Lighting

The Central Astoria Local Development Coalition’s 6th Annual Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting Celebration brought thousands of local residents to the Astoria Park Great Lawn on December 1, where they enjoyed a celebration

The Central Astoria Local Development Coalition’s 6th Annual Holiday Festival & Tree Lighting Celebration brought thousands of local residents to the Astoria Park Great Lawn on December 1, where they enjoyed a celebration of the most joyous time of year.

The three-hour free event featured train rides around the park thrilling youngsters, who didn’t mind standing on the long lines because they were munching on candy apples and warming up with hot cups of cocoa. The children were also treated to face painting and balloons and had their pictures taken near the giant snow globe. At the staging area, Reflexion Dance and Fitness and a performance by FunikiJam celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa entertained the crowd. The event concluded with a performance by Art House Astoria that led to the community tree lighting grand finale. Up-stand provided a lactation and changing station for moms and tots. Higher Ground provided free hot cocoa, coffee and juices.


The tree is lit! Photos Melissa Mennona The tree is lit! Photos Melissa Mennona Council Member Costa Constantinides wished everyone a wonderful holiday season, saying 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, and Tony Barsamian, executive vice president of Central Astoria, aptly assisted by Council Member Constantinides, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, and Assembly Member Aravella Simotas. Also in attendance were NYS Senator-elect Jessica Ramos, Central Astoria board members Joe Di Pietro and Sharon Cadiz and Community Board 1 members Richard Khuzami, Katie Ellman and Rod Townsend.


Council Member Costa Constantinides, Central Astoria Local Development Coalition President George L. Stamatiades, NYS Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Central Astoria Executive Director Marie Torniali, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, and Central Astoria Executive Vice President Tony Barsamian. Council Member Costa Constantinides, Central Astoria Local Development Coalition President George L. Stamatiades, NYS Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Central Astoria Executive Director Marie Torniali, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, and Central Astoria Executive Vice President Tony Barsamian. 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 which has grown by leaps and bounds – a celebration of the most special time of year that brings multicultural families and neighbors together. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa to all!”



Central Astoria Local Development Coalition Executive Director Marie Torniali, Central Astoria Executive Vice President Tony Barsamian, NYS Senator elect Jessica Ramos, NYS Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Central Astoria President George L. Stamatiades, and NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides. Central Astoria Local Development Coalition Executive Director Marie Torniali, Central Astoria Executive Vice President Tony Barsamian, NYS Senator elect Jessica Ramos, NYS Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Central Astoria President George L. Stamatiades, and NYC Council Member Costa Constantinides.

Free train rides around the park. Free train rides around the park.

FunikiJam’s Holiday Beat. FunikiJam’s Holiday Beat.

Posing in front of the life-sized snow globe. Posing in front of the life-sized snow globe.

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