Superstorm Sandy Forces Paramus Tree Lighting Ceremony To Be Moved To Borough Complex
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, December 05, 2012, 09:25 PM EST
The onslaught of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy felled the tree to be used for the tree lighting ceremony at Petrushka Park. Undaunted, Paramus crews worked together to establish a suitable tree at the Police Memorial Park and to have the festivities moved there within the complex. Mayor Rich L:aBarbiera thanked Diane Marichal and the various departments that worked feverishly to transfer activities within a two week span. Present at the ceremony were First Lady MaryAnn LaBarbiera with her three sons, Councilmen Dennis Arslanian., Joe Lagana, Ralph Amato and Council people-elect Pat Verile and Donna Warburton plus Chief of Police Chris Brock along with his lovely wife Debbie and last, but by no means least, NJ Assemblywoman Connie Wagner.
Shade Tree and Parks Director Jay Sexton was busy watching over the lit pathway that seemed to resemble the Wizard of Oz road. Rich Abbamont was also very occupied ensuring that there was enough power to light up the holiday objects. At the DPW, there was a beautiful lit display and over at the First Aid Squad, in addition to the lighting there was entertainment along with 9 people from the newly opened Bahama Breeze headed by General Manager John Brown serving a signature dish of pasta and chicken along with lemonade. The pasta dish was terrific, but the chilly weather forestalled the thought of cold lemonade. Brrrrr! Better they could have served Bahama Mama's.
Despite the 40° degree weather exacerbated by a brisk wind, Paramus turned out en masse to celebrate the event. Before the ceremonies started, Ron Albanese entertained the crowd and helped to get them involved. Then from Farview Avenue down the hill came two fire trucks, one with the honor family and one with Santa Claus and two helpers. The high school choir sung holiday songs before our Mayor asked the assemblage to help in the countdown starting at 10 to light the tree and the rest of the borough complex.
After that, attention was drawn to the Winter Festival rides and activities for the youngsters . This included all sorts of goodies and refreshments that were freely handed out.