‘Little North Pole’ gives kids reason to smile again


| tcullen@queenscourier.com |

SHB_p043.pdf - Adobe Acrobat

Sandy couldn’t stop Santa.

That’s how Joe Mure described the “Little North Pole,” the annual holiday celebration in Neponsit held this year on Sunday, December 23. A holiday tradition in the neighborhood, the original event, slated for Saturday, December 1, had to be cancelled because of the devastation from the superstorm.

But after discussing it with other organizers, Mure said the event had to go on.

“For the most part I think we brought the entire community back together,” Mure said. “There were thousands of people out on the street.”

The afternoon featured free food from places such as Russo’s on the Bay and Ludwig’s Catering. Every kid in attendance got several toys, Mure said. Goumba Johnny and WCBS-FM’s Joe Causi emceed the event well into the night with a string of popular musical performers. But the biggest highlight of the night: a police escort for Santa Claus, much to the delight of the kiddies.

Along with the colossal damage some peninsula residents suffered from the storm, the lives lost from the Sandy Hook shootings were honored with 26 Christmas trees throughout Mure’s home.

“They were in the back of our minds,” Mure said. “[And] all the [superstorm] Sandy victims were in the back of our minds.”

This year was particularly about making sure everyone had a reason to smile, Mure said, especially the children.

“The kids need to be able to go ahead and smile,” he said. “That’s why we went ahead with this party.”