After a dispute between Massapequa Park and a local merchants association threatened to end a holiday tradition, a private donation has saved the day.
The annual “holiday houses” display -- a series of uniquely decorated wooden boxes placed along Park Boulevard -- was previously managed by the Massapequa Park Merchants Association, with the village storing the structures and paying for the time its workers spent to set them up.
But after the village learned earlier this year that the association was not a nonprofit organization, it said it could not legally help fund any of its future ventures. The association did return a request for comment.
Holiday season approached, and when the Merchants Association continued to ask the village for assistance, Mayor James Altadonna Jr. said an anonymous donor offered $1,500 to cover the display set-up. It was in place, with its trademark windows, for the village’s annual tree lighting earlier this month.
“I never wanted to be considered a Grinch,” Altadonna said. “When you see these kids look inside those boxes, it’s pretty cute.”