Last Friday, December 3, The Richmond Hill-South Ozone Park (RHSOP) Lions Club continued along its path of service to the Queens Community, when it sponsored and lit its 3rd Annual Christmas Tree at the Hitlall Triangle, 133rd Street & Liberty Avenue, Richmond Hill.
Christmas is one of the few festivals that finds acceptance amongst all religious and cultural groups, and the Lions created history two years ago when they planted a beautiful 20ft Xmas Tree, gaily decorated with colored lights, at the same location at 133rd Street & Liberty Avenue, bringing the spirit of Christmas to Richmond Hill in a public location. This year, the tree is also 20 ft tall and again beautifully decorated with multicolored lights that lit up the dark evening, in observance of the much-loved festival that celebrates the birth of the Christ Child.
This year’s ceremony was well attended by residents and elected officials, all who had high praise for the novel idea of a Christmas Tree lighting in Queens. Pastor Daniel Marimootoo of the Church of Spirit and Truth led prayers, and speakers included Queens Borough President, Donovan Richards, District 38 Assembly woman Ms. Jenifer Rajkumar, Queens District Attorney, Ms. Melinda Katz, District 31 Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson, and Commanding Officer of the 106th Precinct, Captain Jerome Bacchi. All the speakers invoked the joyful and spiritually healing effects of Christmas, especially now with an ongoing pandemic that has paralyzed our country during the last 20 months.
The event’s Santa arrived on time with his bright red sleigh, and young and old seized the opportunity to take pictures with Santa and the Xmas Tree. As the attendees took pictures and greeted one another, the DJ provided popular holiday tunes and carols. It was then time for Soca Artiste, Designer, to take the stage and belt out a session of foot tapping calypsos that were very well received by the appreciative audience, some of whom began dancing. Even Santa demonstrated some dance steps!
The Lions want to thank the Richmond Hill Community for supporting the event, especially those who contributed to defraying the cost of the project, and Officers of the NYPD 102 & 106 Precincts.
The Tree will remain lighted every day until January 3, 2022, when it will be dismantled. All are welcome to visit the location and take pictures.