Hall Place residents deck neighborhood out for Christmas

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 24, 2002

It was a perfect night for the first &uot;Hall Place Christmas Party in the Park&uot; and even old Santa Claus showed up to lend a &uot;Ho-ho-ho&uot; to the evening’s festivities in the Hall Place Community.

Icy blasts of wind failed to chill the spirit of friendship and good cheer members of the Hall Place Community Association shared recently as they spent the evening enjoying their annual Christmas dinner. Following that time of fellowship and good food, they went about installing their first &uot;Community Christmas Tree&uot; in the park that marks the entry to their neighborhood.

Hall Place Park is located just to the left of the downtown overpass headed south on Main Street. The little park consists of a large courtyard in the center, decorated with planters for flowers and wrought iron benches dot the park for visitors. Sidewalks have been added to the park with beautiful coach lanterns, tieing the park in with the Downtown Suffolk decor. Currently, Christmas banners decorate the neighborhood entrance, featuring a special &uot;United We Stand,&uot; banner that reflects the theme of the Christmas tree colors.

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According to Sandra Parker, the illumination of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City couldn’t have been as welcomed as the lighting of the Hall Place fir.

&uot;We were just so excited to be sharing this with our little community,&uot; said Parker. &uot;One of &uot;Santa’s Helpers’ provided the tree for us and with this being our first tree lighting, we wanted it all to be special.&uot;

And, special it was with the red, white and blue bows created especially for the tree. Parker and another Hall Place neighbor, Pauline Hatfield, spent several days working on the Christmas tree project and the 40 bows for the tree.

&uot;Each of our Hall Place neighbors was given a bow and we had great fun trying to get them placed exactly even on the branches,&uot; said Parker.

Walter Eason, also of Hall Place, had a slight argument with a good breeze as he wired his bow in place.

&uot;All right, that bow isn’t going anywhere,&uot; he remarked. &uot;The wind can blow all it wants, but that bow is going to stay!&uot;

Once the bows were all secured to the Christmas tree, Parker offered a prayer for the community.

&uot;May the lights of our Community Christmas Tree shine bright, representing our neighborhood’s pride and unity,&uot; said Parker. &uot;It also represents our patriotic spirit and all our hopes for a joyous and prosperous New Year, and we ask God’s blessing on the friends and neighbors in our little community.&uot;

With the prayer said, Hatfield then flipped the switch that signaled the arrival of the Christmas season in Hall Place Community.

&uot;Everyone just shouted with joy,&uot; said Parker. &uot;You’d have thought it was the lighting of the Rockefeller Plaza tree… we were just so pleased with having our own special tree. It just seemed so alive with all the colorful bows. In fact, the entire Hall Place Park was filled with an extraordinary glow that seemed so much stronger than the little tree lights could possibly give. We just hope that everyone in Suffolk will visit our little park and enjoy the spirit of Christmas to be found there.&uot;

Parker added that the tree stands as a living symbol of all the work and fellowship of the Hall Place Community.

&uot;We are very pleased with how the neighbors have pulled together to improve the quality of life in our area,&uot; said Parker. &uot;This project is an example of what we can do as neighbors if we all pull together for the good of all. This is the first of what we hope will be many such events in Hall Place.&uot;