Around Town with Amy Modesti: Lansingburgh Presents The First Annual Tree Lighting and Parade
Written by Staff on December 13, 2022
The camaraderie, unity, and care for one’s residence was felt in Lansingburgh,
NY. After years of not having a parade, the need to bring holiday spirit and joy to this
deserving community was apparent. It took three “Burghers”, ten days’ worth of glorious
commitment, and a dedicated team of residents, city officials & workers, and businesses
to put on a successful, first of its kind combined Christmas parade and tree lighting.
Vito Ciccarelli, Jim Gulli, and Tony Buchanan are ‘Burgh superheroes. They’re
driven community shakers who bring positivity and city pride into Lansingburgh. Each
one equally responsible for the holiday parade’s origin. Ciccarelli encouraged Guili to
move forward with the tree lighting and Power’s Park’s first ever memorial tree (placed
on Power’s Park stage). Buchanan assisted Guili in the last-minute venture to gather the
community together in a short amount of time to make the parade happen.
Saturday, December 10, residents, and visitors lined up along Corliss Park,
Northern Avenue, and Fifth Avenue to enjoy an afternoon of a lifetime. Holiday candy
was tossed out to parade goers as a who’s who of participants ranging from area fire
departments, Lansingburgh HS football team, City of Troy departments, police officials,
area businesses and residents in decked out vehicles, to Santa and Mrs. Claus made an
appearance. The parade ended at Power’s Park.
The Power’s Park grounds included caroling by Lansingburgh HS choir, two
children’s bike raffles, a meet and greet with Santa Claus and Miss Uncle Sam, the
hanging of the memorial ornaments on the memorial tree, and the official lighting of the
park tree. Free donuts, candy canes, and hot cocoa from Big Bellies, chili to-go from the
Lansingburgh HS football booster club, and pizza from the Lansingburgh Veterans Club
was served to attendees.
RadioRadioX’s photojournalist, Amy Modesti, experienced this wonderful sight
and connected with Jimmy’s Pizzeria owner, Tony Bucanan about the new holiday
RRX: How did you get the parade going after years of hiatus with no parades
T.B: So last Tuesday (November 29,2022), I called Jim Gulli to try to spruce up the
attendance here at the tree lighting. I said why don’t we do a little community parade
right in the north part of Burgh and we’ll end it at Power’s Park. It will draw people in.
We’ll involve as many as we can. He said alright, I’ll get the approval from the city but
it’s gonna be more work than you think. To be honest, it really wasn’t that much work
just because we have such a supportive community that’s looking for something to do. I
put the word out. Social media is very strong, and the result and the response were
amazing. With the last couple tree lighting ceremonies, there’s been maybe thirty people
here and ten of the thirty people were organizers of the event. But now if you look
around, there’s easily gotta be four or five hundred people in here right now.
RRX: That’s amazing!
T.B.: Well, you got Big Bellies involved doing hot chocolate, you got the Lansingburgh
football booster club involved doing some chili, the Lansingburgh Veterans Club
brought some pizzas for people. This is a huge community effort. It’s everybody
RRX: Are you planning on having more community events like this happen for next
year, seeing how this holiday parade was a success?
T.B.: Yes. People have already come up to me about maybe making and forming a little
committee for this and making this even bigger than (this) next year and as the years go
on, get more people involved and bigger parades and more community involved because
that’s who you need these days, especially up here in the Burgh and the entire City of
Troy. We need positive events, not just negative things that you see all the time on the
RRX: Exactly! This is stuff that brings the whole entire community together. You miss
going to events like the Flag Day Parade, the Uncle Sam, and stuff like that especially
around the holidays needs to come back.
T.B.: Absolutely. As a little kid, I used to look forward to the Memorial Day parade, the
Uncle Sam parade, and even in my years in the military being a part of the parade, I
looked forward to it. Now that we haven’t had any parades in Troy for a couple years,
maybe this is a start to something new, exciting again for the neighborhood.
RRX: Exactly. That’s an exciting thing and it’s nice to even see Power’s Park all decked
out with the little Christmas tree with the ornaments.
T.B.: The city did a great job. Vito (Ciccarelli), Jim Gulli, like I said, it’s a huge effort,
not just the communities, the community, the City of Troy, the neighborhood, the
people, the businesses, everybody just coming together for a good cause.
RRX: Are you going to eventually setup a website and social media pages to help people
get the funding back into it?
T.B.: I’m not a social media guy like that with computers and stuff but I could build a
team to where maybe we can make this a bigger thing every year and get someone
involved in making a website and stuff like that.
RRX: I look forward to seeing better things to come!
T.B.: Yeah, absolutely. Hopefully this is the beginning.
RRX: Thank you for your service, thank you for bringing stuff that you can to Jimmy’s,
as well as to the entire community here.
T.B.: I appreciate it.
RRX: You’re welcome.