HOLIDAY FETES: Councilman Van Bramer Hosts Holiday Lighting

LONG ISLAND CITY – The creation of new traditions is a sign of a vibrant community and for the past four years New York’s City Councilman for Long Island City Jimmy Van Bramer has invited local schoolchildren and neighbors to sing holiday carols during the lighting of the giant snowflake near the LIC Bar on Vernon Boulevard.

When the children commenced singing, the unlit snowflake began to flicker and thanks to their growing excitement and loud and clear singing it soon shone steadily in the pleasant night.

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Live music, storytelling and fellowship followed inside.

Van Bramer, who lent his voice to the chorus, asked TNH to convey a special holiday message.

“Merry Christmas to all my Greek friends and brothers and sisters including, my brother-in-law Peter Pavlides, who is married to my sister Debbie, and their five children,” he said.

He explained that “This is our fourth holiday celebration in partnership with JetBlue and many other companies.”

Four years ago they decided to light up Vernon Boulevard for the holidays and JetBlue donated the funds for a string of lights up and down the busy avenue.

That was just a few weeks after the devastation of hurricane Sandy and the LIC Bar – which was flooded – was chosen as the spot for the celebration because it was one of the last places of business to have its electricity restored and its own lights turned back on.

Elizabeth Luskin, President of the LIC Partnership and Executive Director of the LIC Business Improvement District, who helped organize the fun civic event with a good business twist, told TNH, “The winter season is wonderful time to light up the night and make the area inviting and dispel some of the gloom and make us all feel good about going out to shop and eat.”

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