Deputy Mayor Robert C. Fabio has been to coming the Stewart Manor’s Tree Lighting Event for 16 years. He never misses an event and considers it a big part of the community.
“It’s a family affair,” Fabio said. “Like one big whole family.”
Saturday’s tree lighting brought out more than 200 village residents. Rosie Franzi, owner of Rosie’s Italian Bakery, handed out hot chocolate, cupcakes and cookies.
“It was beautiful. I had a lot of fun seeing all the people," said Franzi who lives in Franklin Square. "These costumers make my day and the kids had a ball."
The kids, who nibbled on chocolate cupcakes and sipped on hot chocolate, enjoyed horse drawn carriage rides that took them down Chester Avenue.
“All the children look forward to it every year,” said Anthony Corrao, village resident and member of Stewart Manor’s Lions Club. “It’s a big event.”
The village’s Department of Public Works decorated the 10-foot tree, which was donated by the Graham Garden Center. The lights for the tree were donated by Rosie’s Italian Bakery.
The event wasn’t complete until Santa Claus made an appearance that had residents cheering. Santa arrived on the Stewart Manor Fire Department truck, handed out candy canes to the youngsters before joining them for a couple of rides down Chester Avenue.
“This is a very nice event,” said Angela Powers, a Stewart Manor Lions Club member as she handed out reindeer antlers made of fabric to the kids before boarded on the carriage ride with Santa. “We do it for the kids.”
Photo: Santa Claus greets Natalie Moran, 8, of Stewart Manor, at the annual Stewart Manor Tree Lighting event at Covert Avenue and Chester Avenue. (Dec. 3. 2011)