About 100 Garden City Park residents gathered at the front of the King Kullen shopping plaza near the Citibank branch Saturday night for the inaugural lighting of a new Christmas tree specifically for area residents.
“Garden City Park has had nothing for years, this is the first, so we’ve never had anything,” said Tony Colon, the head of the Christmas decorating committee for the new civic group Residents for a More Beautiful Garden City Park.
Surrounding communities Mineola and New Hyde Park both have had long-standing tree-lighting ceremonies, but both areas are incorporated as villages with their own local municipalities.
The new association came about after some residents felt unsatisfied with the Garden City Park Civic Association and broke off.
“We felt that really nothing was getting accomplished with the old civics so we started this one,” Colon said, noting the organization wants to continue to work with other organizations.
Colon pointed to decorations for a tree that had been sitting in storage for years after being ordered for Garden City park as one of the examples.
“There’s 30 decorations sitting in the basement of the Town of North Hempstead that was purchased from a state grant for the old civic,” he said.
Colon said getting the tree lit in front of the Citibank branch was a matter of convincing the shopping center’s landlord and being self-insured that led to the tree lighting. The bank even supplied the electric power as a donation.
“Everybody’s really supportive,” Colon said. “We just want to make Garden City Park more beautiful and make it better.”