North Bergen, Guttenberg, West New York and county officials, as well as many families,Â gathered for the first Christmas tree lighting at James J. Braddock Park in several decades. Sponsored content.Â
“This area of the park was neglected and their was really nothing on it. We cleaned it up a little bit we extended the triangle and someone said ‘why don’t you put a Christmas tree up somewhere in the park?’ And I said ‘you know what, there’s a perfect spot for the Christmas tree,'” recalled Freeholder Board Chairman Anthony Vainieri (D-8).
“This is a 22-foot Norway spruce tree that we took a ride down to South Jersey to pick out … we got about 4,000 lights on the tree tonight and it’s our first one here I guess, I remember the last one I was probably a teenager.”
Following the tree lighting ceremony, which Vainieri counted down along with Santa Claus, families hung around to take pictures with the tree, Santa and state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco.
“A new idea that Anthony Vainieri had: to put a nice tree in and make it an annual event that we have a tree lighting in North Bergen. And it was well attended, hundreds of people were here and I think it was an enjoyable night.”
Other dignitaries in attendance included Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32), Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari, Guttenberg Commissioners Wayne Zitt (also the mayor-elect), John Habermann and Monica Fundora, North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco, Allen Pascual and Hugo Cabrera, West New York Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo, among many others.