By Eileen Li
With cheers and applause, the youngest of the many Great Neck residents who attended the annual tree lighting at the Inn at Great Neck turned a switch to light up the 20-foot Christmas tree in front of the hotel on Dec. 3.
Decorated by lights of rainbow colors, the tree seemed taller than the hotel and would illuminate the night street at the center of Great Neck Plaza during the holiday season.
This event has been a privately held holiday tradition at the hotel for years, according to Alan Mindel, the hotel principal manager.
The Inn at Great Neck also provided snacks and refreshments for those who joined the celebration.
Led by Dr. Janine Robinson, the Great Neck South High School chorus began its performance with “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah,” followed by more than 15 popular holiday songs, like “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls” and “Frosty the Snowman,” all chosen
by the students themselves.
The chorus members are all busy high school students, but they still found time to participate in this event to share the holiday spirit. The school’s music program is national-award winning, according to Robinson.
Santa made an appearance to take photos with families.
“This is the celebration that we all want to participate in,” said Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean A. Celender.
Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Rear Admiral Jack Buono from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and members of the Great Neck Chinese Association (GNCA) were also in attendance.
This event connected people from all different backgrounds, who came together as one community in Great Neck.
“It’s very important that the community stays together, that people have love between each other as citizens,” said Mindel. “The community acts as one community regardless of where people come from, and everyone comes together as one big group.”
Read Issac Xu’s account of the tree lighting in Chinese below.
GNCA student reporter/writer Eileen Li is a fifth grader at Lakeville Elementary School, who loves to read, write and play music.
By Issac Xu
12月3号晚上6：30，Inn of Great Neck里面的庆典开始了，房间里挤满了各种族裔各种年龄的居民。
Great Neck Plaza市长Jean A. Celender补充道，“已经超过十五年了。“