With the holiday season fast approaching, the Village of Malverne’s annual holiday festivities are expected to look a bit different this year. Several annual events, including Breakfast with Santa and the Historical Society’s holiday gala, have already been canceled, but community leaders are hoping to create new outdoor events for children in December.
“We are desperately trying to have a holiday lighting this year,” said Village Trustee Lauren Touchard, who is a liaison to the Celebrations Committee. “We’re hoping that it will pan out. It’s certainly going to be a scaled-down version.”
The village’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting, on Hempstead Avenue, is one of its most popular events, typically attracting people of all ages. Touchard said the hope is that the tradition can continue, and that it will boost interest in local businesses. “We’re trying to come up with some creative outdoor events that will lead up to the lighting,” she said. “We’re really trying to make this work.”
Kathi Monroe, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said that as the weather cools, it becomes even more important for residents to shop locally. While many businesses have reopened in recent months, Monroe said, they are still facing an uphill battle. “We did our best to keep things rolling, as far as activities to help our merchants during this time,” she said. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re hopeful.”
Celebrations Committee member Ann Marie Cuocci said the group is planning to organize a holiday lights tour, in which residents will view the displays on homes throughout the village. Cuocci said that given the success of the Malverne Civic Association’s annual Garden Tour in August — which was relaunched in 2018 after a nine-year hiatus — she was hopeful for a great turnout.
“We can’t do it without the help of residents,” she said. “We’re hoping to have some special things for the kids at each one of these homes, almost like a scavenger hunt.”
Cuocci added that whether the homes were decorated tastefully or “Griswoldy” — a reference to the Griswold family in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” — the committee hoped to create a ticketed event in order to limit the number of guests. She said she hoped to have 10 to 15 homes participate in the event, which would take place on Dec. 4.
“I’ve been here my whole life, and I can tell you that some of the homes really do a nice job,” Cuocci said. “We just would really like to see them and showcase them.”
The Celebrations Committee plans to share a list of holiday events next month, and it will finalize plans for the lights tour on Nov. 7. Those interested in signing up for the tour can call Village Hall at (516) 599-1200.