HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Rainy December weather could not dampen the holiday spirit Friday night as Hastings villagers gathered at the James Harmon Community Center for an indoor Christmas tree lighting, Christmas carols, Santa Claus and hot chocolate.
The Hastings Recreation Department moved the outdoor ceremony, scheduled for the Veterans of Foreign Wars building on Warburton Avenue, into the James Harmon Center to protect villagers from the inclement weather. Mayor Peter Swiderski flipped the switch to light the indoor tree while the outdoor tree also lit up.
"We thought we should move the event indoors because of the weather and we have a full house," said recreation staffer Lisa O'Reilly. "We had so many people help with the event. Our seniors contributed a lot of the train display and it really came together."
The Recreation Center was filled with children who helped the Hudson Valley Singers and Robert Linder sing carols and then were thrilled by the arrival of Santa Claus. An electric train display with a miniature landscape stretched across the width of the Community Center.
The Recreation Department also collected gifts for its toy drive that will benefit Staten Island victims of Hurricane Sandy. Donors are asked to drop off new, unwrapped toys at the James Harmon Community Center, 44 Main St., between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays and 9 a.m. to noon Fridays.
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