TIMESLEDGER | QNS.10 COM | DEC. 10 - DEC. 16, 2021
Park hosts second
tree lighting in
BY ANGÉLICA ACEVEDO
More than 100 people came out to celebrate the second annual
Christmas tree lighting at Athens Square Park in
Astoria on Friday, Dec. 3.
Community members gathered around the 35-
foot tree from Pennsylvania, which was positioned directly
behind the statue of Athena at the park, located between
30th Street and 30th Avenue, and will be on display throughout
the holiday season.
The event kicked off with a prayer and speeches by members
of the tree lighting committee, including Gus Lambropoulos
and Elias Fillas.
Fillas, the committee chair, explained they had the idea
of a tree lighting last year, describing it as “really devastating”
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We got together, a bunch of business leaders in the community
and we started brainstorming ideas of what we
could do to uplift the community a little bit, and we thought
that this symbol … was a great way to uplift the community
and to bring some cheer and joy to everybody in a year that
was really very devastating,” Fillas said.
Before the tree was lit, students of Saint Demetrios Preparatory
School performed a variety of Christmas songs.
To end the night’s events, Santa Claus was invited to
come out to greet children.
Maria Markou Lambropoulos, wife of Gus Lambropoulos,
said there isn’t a better place to do something nice for
Queens than Athens Park.
“We had a very difficult year,” Markou Lambropoulos
said. “We lost people, we lost businesses … but we were
tough because we are New Yorkers.”
More than two dozen local business owners and community
members raised over $30,000 for the purchase, maintenance
and decoration of the tree, according to Give Me
Photos and additional reporting by Paul Frangipane.