Village kicks off holiday season with lighting ceremony
Dominika Kulasza hangs tree ornaments around Central Park for the tree lighting ceremony Saturday in Elmwood Park. | Kevin Tanaka for~Sun-Times Media.
To see more photos from the Holiday Lighting Ceremony, visit www.elmwoodpark.suntimes.com
Updated: January 7, 2013 6:50AM
ELMWOOD PARK — As darkness fell Saturday evening over Elmwood Park, there was one area in the village lit up so bright Santa Claus had to stop by.
His appearance was one of the many activities that comprised the village’s annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony, which took place Dec. 1 at Central Park, located at 75th and Fullerton avenues.
At 6:30 p.m. Elmwood Park Village President Peter Silvestri turned on the holiday lights that will light up the park for the holiday season. The trees, shrubbery and structures in the park, including the village’s water tower, were adorned with holiday lights and other lighted items with a holiday theme that were brought in.
Dino Braglia, director of Elmwood Park’s Public Works Department, said it took about three days for his employees to get the holiday lights out, check them and a little over three days to decorate the park for the event. They’ve also been out decorating the entire village on the main streets and village buildings with holiday lights as well.
Braglia said it’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it.
“We had a good pattern to follow,” he said. “We thought a little bit out of the box and went with colored lighting this year instead of white.”
He did the same with the water tower.
“We did (white) LED lighting on the water tower last year and it did not look nice,” he said. “We went back to the old big glass bulbs. This year I have to say the tower looks phenomenal.”
Echoing that sentiment was Elmwood Park Village President Peter Silvestri. He said the Holiday Lighting Ceremony has been a tradition in the village in some form since the 1960s and started in Central Park in 1990s.
He said those in attendance had a good time and Santa Claus was impressed as well. Silvestri said he took the opportunity to ask Santa Clause for some Christmas help in getting an underpass on Grand Avenue under the railroad tracks.
“It’s been a long-term goal, but it will be very difficult to get in this economy,” he said.
Silvestri said either way the event was a wonderful kickoff to the holiday season.
“It went very well and it was very well attended,” he said. “The kids were excited and Santa did a great job.
“It was a great night,” he said. “We had a lot of fun.”