Lighting Up For the Holidays


Let there be light! The sky might be dark by 4:30 p.m., but Rockaway will soon be merry and bright as it rings in the holiday season. There are plenty of Christmas tree and menorah lightings coming up.

The holiday season in Rockaway will kick off with the Beach 116th, Street Christmas tree lighting. The event, held near the firehouse on Beach 116th will start at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 1. The night will include live entertainment, caroling and refreshments, plus the lighting of the tree and a visit from Santa Claus to get in those holiday pictures. While Hanukkah begins on December 2, the Beach 116th Street menorah lighting will take place on Wednesday, December 5 at 5:30 p.m. This event, held near Rockaway Beach Boulevard, will include singing, prayers led by local rabbis, music, treats and more. These events are sponsored by Assembly District Leader Lew Simon, Kathleen Laslie, Mazzone Hardware and Rockawaves DJs.

On Sunday, December 2, head over the Cross Bay Bridge to Broad Channel for their annual Christmas Tree Lighting at the Broad Channel Athletic Club (125 Cross Bay Blvd). Beginning at 5 p.m., the ceremony includes music and dance performances, caroling, hot cocoa and other goodies, plus a visit from Santa as the tree above the Clubhouse is lit for the season.

The following weekend will bring more light on Saturday, December 8. The Rockaway Beach Civic Association hosts their annual tree lighting and holiday party from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., in front of the Peninsula Library on Beach 94th Street. The afternoon will include arts and crafts, music, hot chocolate and a visit from Santa.

After the RBCA lighting, head uptown to the big show in town as the Little North Pole (144-03 Neponsit Ave) lights up for the season with a big show to celebrate. The party will feature live music and dance performances, special guests, food, a visit from Santa with toys for all the kids, plus the lighting of the most decorated home in Rockaway. The show kicks off at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 8.

Some other lighting ceremonies to look forward to later in the season is the lighting of the trees and angels at the St. Francis de Sales prayer garden on Tuesday, December 11 at around 7 p.m. This one is a sight to see as more than 100 trees will light up the garden. The evening will also include caroling, refreshments, a visit from Santa and more.

On Wednesday, December 12, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital will hold its own holiday celebration with a tree lighting and nativity dedication at 11 a.m. This event is open to all.