Many West Hempstead residents look forward to ringing in the holidays with a special celebration held in the heart of the community, Halls Pond Park. The park is usually decked out with festive decorations and residents full of the spirit of the season in the winter months, but this year, the sights are a little different.
Piles of dirt and construction vehicles fill the area and a metal fence surrounds the park, preventing residents from stepping inside. Still, despite the fact that there would be no full-fledged "Holiday at Halls" this year, a group of residents insisted upon keeping the tradition alive, albeit on a smaller scale.
Local clergymen, civic leaders, residents and Nassau County Legislator Vincent Muscarella weathered the windy and frigid conditions on Dec. 5 to gather around a menorah and nativity that had been placed just outside the park. Standing on the corner of Nassau Boulevard and Hempstead Avenue, the small congregation prayed, lit a candle to celebrate another night of Chanukah and welcomed in the holiday season by reflecting on what means most to them at this time of the year - family, faith and their community.
Check out the video and photos from the ceremony.
Earlier in the month, on Dec. 2, the Chabad of West Hempstead also held a celebration outside Halls Park too. Musicians played Chanukah songs to the tune of pop hits, while young residents danced around and watched a performer eat fire! Check out video from this event too, courtesy of The Jewish Week.