BY JOHN NUGENT
The communities of New Hyde Park, Garden City Park and Herricks were treated to a parade of 70 vehicles, all decorated for the holidays, on Saturday.
With sirens blaring and lights flashing, fire trucks from several departments in the area led the way after an honor guard of veterans from the Town of North Hempstead kicked off the celebration with the Pledge of Allegiance.
The caravan, sponsored by the Lakeville Estates Civic Association, traveled over seven miles through many neighborhoods spreading the joy of the season.
Association President Bill Cutrone organized the event. As the cars were lining up to begin the parade Cutrone said that despite the protocols of masking and social distancing, “we hope to bring a little joy to the communities.” Jean Capobianco, treasurer of the association, added, “We hope for a big turnout and a very successful event.”
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, participants were not allowed out of their cars at the lighting of a Christmas tree and a menorah at two locations along the parade route. The restrictions forced the cancellation of any formal ceremonies that might include the participation of clergy and public officials.
Among those taking part in the parade were the Rev. Joseph Scolaro, pastor of Notre Dame Catholic Church in New Hyde Park, and Rabbi Randy Ellen Sheinberg of Temple Tikvah in New Hyde Park.
Several public officials attended, including state Sen. Anna Kaplan, Assemblyman Ed Ra and Assemblywoman-elect Gina Sillitti, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, and Nassau County Legislators Richard Nicolello and Ellen Birnbaum.
In addition, Town of North Hempstead Clerk Wayne Wink and Town council members Lee Seeman and Peter Zuckerman were on hand.
The Village of New Hyde Park was represented by Mayor Lawrence Montreuil and Trustees Richard Pallisco and Rainer Burger.
Jack Kott, a civic association board member, said there were at least two miles worth of cars.
“What a phenomenal event just took place that I was privileged to participate in,” Kott wrote on the group’s Facebook page. “While checking many people in I got the feeling that everyone there was eager & happy to participate.”
“We are a community with different religions, different nationalities, different political views, but we all come together for a common cause and hopefully we brought a little joy today to everyone,” Cutrone said.