Tag Archives: Little North Pole

Little North Pole Christmas celebration


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo by Vito Catalano

The North Pole came to Neponsit Beach for a night and the community celebrated Christmas in style.

Lights showered Joe Mure’s Neponsit Avenue home where he hosted his annual “Little North Pole” event to benefit juvenile diabetes on Saturday. A Christmas display surrounded the house and close to 5,000 people came to see the show, Mure said, including local elected officials, community leaders and thousands of borough residents.

The spectacle raised roughly $200,000 which will go directly to juvenile diabetes research.

Local joints such as VetroLenny’s Clam Bar and Lucy’s sausage and peppers donated heaps of food and local performers sang and danced through the night.

“We put smiles on every single face that was out there,” Mure said. “We put on a show that was both appropriate and great for both kids and adults.”

Then, Santa Claus came to town, riding a sled perched on a flatbed. Several emergency vehicles followed him with their sirens on and lights swirling.

“If you sat out there, you watched Santa Claus show up with the sirens and lights from the sky, you would have a memory of Christmas that will last you a lifetime,” Mure said.

The Little North Pole, a tradition held for nearly two decades, was put on hold last year after Sandy. But now, Mure said they are back, “stronger and brighter than ever.”

“We live in the heart of Rockaway. A year ago, we had nothing,” he said. “I think the kickoff of the Little North Pole was some sort of proof that we’re alive, we’re back.”

 

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‘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.”