There was a line extending into the parking lot at the Lynbrook Saturday morning, as children and adults of all ages waited patiently in the brisk morning air for the doors to open and the annual Breakfast with Santa event to begin.
Once inside, ticket holders were greeted by green and red balloons, arts and crafts options, and the ever present tinge of anticipation for the guest of honor to arrive. Fashionably late, Santa Claus finally made his entrance into the Ladies Auxiliary Hall, much to the delight of his captive audience.
Food was provided by the Knights of Columbus who, along with the Winter Celebration Committee, have been giving children a chance to dine with their holiday hero for more than 20 years.
“We all do this for the kids,” Co-chairperson Pat McDermott said. “We charge $10 just to cover the food and all the activities. We have a great time.”
All money raised goes towards next year’s event, making the breakfast a truly self-sufficient operation.
With over 500 tickets sold, the committee scheduled three separate sessions. Although the event is a long standing Lynbrook tradition, this year marked the first time that the Recreation Department had full control.
“We’ve been working on this since September,” co-chairperson Pat Ciampi said. “We also did the on the avenue...We have a few holiday events, so we work on it from September on. It’s a lot of work.”
As Ciampi is quick to point out, seeing the final result makes all that hard work worthwhile.
“It’s the best thing,” she said. “The community and the kids love it. Everything is for the kids.”
After relaying their Christmas wishes to Santa, children were treated to a magic show put on by local illusionist, Amore. Onlookers were amazed as Amore stuck magic dice in a box and squirted water from a stuffed raccoon.
The event brought out some of Lynbrook’s most recognizable officials, including Mayor William Hendrick.
“Every year this breakfast is bigger, better, and more well attended,” Hendrick said. “I think this is the best Breakfast with Santa that you could possibly go to. The kids are just ecstatic. They get all the time they want with Santa Claus. It’s a great Saturday for everyone to come down for the Christmas season.”
Judging by all the smiling faces leaving the mornings second session, Lynbrook agrees.