Another long-standing town tradition occurred on the Village Green on November 26.
Annually, the Village Green board strings holiday lights on a single tree in the nonprofit’s pocket park that is bounded by Sunset Boulevard, Swarthmore and Antioch.
Once a little tree, the “Charlie Brown” pine, was decorated by hand when it was first planted in 1973. The tree is now more than 65 feet tall, and it takes about two hours to drape the lights using the Fire Station 69 ladder truck.
Village Green Co-Presidents Betsy Collins and Cindy Kirven said no one is sure of the exact date that decorating the Green started, but “Our files are filled with statements like: ‘Again this year, the firemen from Station 69 helped us install our holiday lights in the pine tree with Santa turning on the lights from the fire engine as he was on his way to Ho!Ho!Ho!’
“We are so grateful to our local firemen for assisting with the beautification and celebration for the community,” the co-presidents said. “Since Palisades Village Green is a non-profit, any funds raised from donations are used for operations and maintenance.
“Since we do not hire professional holiday lighting services, the park would be dark except for Station 69 and community volunteers,” the two said, and noted that the five ornamental pear trees on the green will also have trunks wrapped with white blinking lights.
Collins and Kirven were asked why they thought it was important to have holiday lights in the Village Green.
The two said the park, which was dedicated on August 17,1973, will be celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2023.
“The holiday lights are part of the fulfillment of the vision of the original Palisades Village Green Committee to create beauty and inspire community,” the women said.
At one time the Village Green Park was a gas station. The community raised funds to buy the land and turn it into a park – as the Methodists had originally envisioned, when town plans were drawn in 1923.
“The Village Green is a symbol of this community’s spirit, generosity and love of beauty,” Collins and Kirven said. “Even the process of lighting the green for the holidays by volunteers with the aid of our local Fire Department is a celebration of community.”
Most likely the lights will be lit on Friday, December 2, and will remain up until after New Year’s Day. (Visit: palisadesvillagegreen.org.)
Thanks again, Sue, for your excellent article covering our Village Green.