By Jeanne Sager
LIVINGSTON MANOR December 7, 2004 Theres a new tradition in the heart of the Manor.
The 29th annual tree lighting in the hamlet pulled up roots and moved from Waterwheel Junction down the street to a new home, right in the center of town.
The hamlet was facing an end to its Christmas celebrations when longtime sponsors George and Shirley Fulton threw in their rope lights last year.
Instead, the hamlets blazing new ground setting up not just a tree but a menorah on land donated for the season by businessman Andrew Krieger and sponsoring a Sunday afternoon party that drew crowds of carolers.
Change sometimes is necessary, said event emcee and local businessman Barry Foster. In this case, its perfect.
The plusses are, we have the tree in the center of town, we have the menorah which was the idea of the chamber of commerce, Foster continued.
And, thanks to the use of the parking lot next to WeGe and Company, adjoining the grassy knoll where the menorah was erected and the tree lit, a tent was set up to protect the revelers from snow, wind and rain.
For Krieger, this is a way to give back to the community.
Although the plan is to some day erect a building on the empty lot where the tree now stands, he said the holiday party will always have a home.
If we put a building here, well find another place for it, Krieger said. Were more than happy to do it here.
Santa stopped by to chat with Manors youngest, and the Mountaintones kept the holiday spirit bright despite the cold of night with rousing renditions of Christmas classics.
And the menorah helped to bring the community closer together, said Bob Freedman, president of Agudas Achim, the hamlets only synagogue.
Now we can share in the bright lights of the holiday with this community, he said, speaking on behalf of the Jewish residents of Livingston Manor.
The town has fallen upon a secret that makes the holiday spirit that much sweeter, he said community togetherness.
If only the rest of the world could know what we know in Livingston Manor, Freedman said.