February 12th, 2020

Long Branch Stages Holiday Events, Wows Kids, Parents

Long Branch Stages Holiday Events, Wows Kids, Parents 

Long Branchers enjoyed two winter celebrations in Flower Urban Park this December. 

Saturday, Dec. 7, families with children flocked to ‘S’mores in the Park.’ A s’more is a sandwich made of graham crackers, choco-late and melted marshmallows. 

The County Parks Department, which came up with the idea for the event and was its lead organizer, built campfires and provided the s’mores supplies. The Business League and MHP supplied publicity and hot apple cider. 

‘Santa in the Park, for its part, happened on Saturday, Dec. 14. After a rainy morning, things dried up just in time for Santa’s arrival. One attendee told the Newsletter: “My daughter wanted to get some quality time in with Santa, so we came here instead of the mall.” 

Business League president and ZP Tax owner Carlos Perozo, seated on the stage, served as a jolly bi-lingual Santa, to the delight of local children who whispered Christmas wishes in his ear. 

The Santa Claus event offered nourishment for stomach and spirit. Local bakery El Arbol de Pan (8545 Piney Branch Rd., next to Americana grocery) provided several of their signature desserts. 

“Oh my god. These cupcakes and croissants!” one satisfied sampler remarked about Arbol de Pan Bakery’s offerings. 

Nearby Giant Food generously provided additional tasty cookies and treats. 

As visitors snacked, four professional singers from the Catholic University opera program inspired those gathered with uplifting carols. 

Nok Kim, owner of the now-closed Rainbow Laundry, came back to Long Branch to volunteer for this first-ever Santa in the Park event, where he was greeted warmly by former clients and their children. 

In years past, Rainbow Laundry had served as the site of Long Branch’s annual Christmas party for area children. Thanks to the Parks Dept., we now have a stage in the park to host such events – when weather permits, that is! 

 Community Comes out for Street Improvements 

On Dec. 18, Long Branch store owners witnessed what appeared to be a parade of people walking up and down Flower Ave. and Piney Branch Road, taking notes, inspecting lights and sidewalks. 

This ‘parade’ was, in fact, the next step in the process described in the December Long Branch newsletter – getting Long Branch’s many street problems fixed. Participants in the street inspection included many local residents, along with Business League leaders and representatives of local non-profits. 

Michael Paylor, Chief of the DOT Division of Traffic Engineering and Operations, expressed surprise at the rusted and unsafe condition of several Long Branch streetlights. He said it was likely replacements for the rusted streetlights can come out of the DOT current maintenance budget. 

County councilmember Tom Hucker and his legislative aide, Sean Emerson, also joined the tour of area conditions, with Hucker voicing his support for the improvements requested by the Business League. 

Additional improvements discussed included, among many others, placement of new street furniture and planters in Long Branch. Store owners are encouraged to attend the Wednesday, Feb. 5th Business League meeting (details, page one) to provide input on the placement of street furniture — and how to make sure it works well for our area.