Holiday fun at the Long Island Festival of Trees

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The glittering display also includes those mini-trees and 50 wreaths, all accompanied by a gingerbread village, cooked up by culinary students from BOCES Barry Tech Institute in Westbury. All trees and gingerbread houses — besides being appealing to look at —are for sale. Proceeds benefit the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County and the Cradle of Aviation Museum.
The festive trees are glittering backdrop to the many activities that will bring holiday cheer to all ages, And, of course, Santa is around to visit with families throughout the weekend.
“I am thrilled that we are bringing the festival back after having to cancel last year as a result of Sandy,” said, UCPN Executive Director Bob McGuire. “We know that many Long Island families have made the festival a tradition and for that we are grateful and have worked hard to make this year’s the best ever. We hope that our themed days including sports, Star Wars and Irish Sunday will add fun and excitement. We encourage everyone to come and enjoy the trees, the entertainment, the unique shopping, the museum and all the fun things the festival offers, and do good at the same time. We say thanks to all the volunteers and people in the community who help us make this event a success.”
Visitors on Friday — or Sports Friday — can meet former New York Mets stars Ed Kranepool, Art Shamsky and John Franco, among other sports personalities, and check out creatively designed sports-themed trees. Saturday brings a “Star Wars” flavor to the event, when 30 costumed characters descend upon the festivities, with, naturally, a “Star Wars” themed tree for added impact.
It all comes to a rousing finale on Irish Sunday when four Irish bands and step dancers make it seem like St. Patrick ’s Day in December. Everyone will get into the spirit with Gerry Finlay and the Cara Band, The Tommy Mulvihill Band, The Ed Ryan Band and the ensemble known as Bangers and Mash. Irish step dancers and a bagpiper add to the fun, with soda bread for sale made by local culinary arts students.
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