“The spirit of Christmas and the sense of community we feel as we travel through Queens County looking at the trees is really inspiring,” said Norm Amirault, Director of Recreation & Community Facilities. “The creativity is tremendous and it is a great feeling to see that people have come together with their neighbors to make something special.”
The Community Christmas Tree Competition has taken place for nearly 3 decades, and for the past several years there has been a high level of commitment from communities all over the county.
“Many of the decorations are handmade, and most communities establish a theme for their decorations. The themes are as diverse and as unique as the communities they are located,” said Heather Cook, community development coordinator. “There is a high level of community pride exhibited from people coming together to plan a tree, and really says a lot about the power of community here in Queens.”
A team of judges visit each tree, takes pictures and present awards for the Annual Community Christmas Tree. Over the years, the creativity in the community has expanded to such an extent that a number of communities have been creating Christmas “scenes”, making multiple trees, and taking the decorating of their tree in a non-traditional route.
Community Spirit Awards have been bestowed, with honours in Traditional and Non Traditional categories. Those communities receiving a Community Spirit Award will receive a plaque with a picture of their tree on it that they display in a prominent place in their community.
“Although there are several trees selected as to receive awards, Community Christmas Tree isn’t about winning,” said Cook. “It is about bringing communities together and making connections - that is the real prize.”
Many groups taking part this year have been involved throughout the history of the competition, which has been taking place for nearly 30 years.
Four Community Spirit Awards were presented in the Non-Traditional category; in alphabetical order, they are
Beach Meadows/Eagle Head, East Berlin/West Berlin with the theme “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”
East Port Medway with the theme “Past, Present, & Future”
Mersey Point/Moose Harbour/Western Head with the theme “Knot-ical – Upside Down”
Mill Village with the theme “Mill Village: Village of Snowmen”.
There were four trees awarded Community Spirit Awards in the Traditional Category; they were, in alphabetical order
Brooklyn with a theme of “Skating through the Season”
East Port L’Hebert with the theme “Seaside Christmas”
Port Medway with the theme “Lobsters”,
Queens Manor with the theme “Feed the World”.
The communities of Greenfield, Kempt, North Queens Nursing Home, Pleasant River, and SWIFT Liverpool also decorated beautiful Christmas trees for this year’s competition. All participating communities are commended for their excellent efforts, creativity, Christmas spirit, and their tremendous showing of community pride.