By Janee Law
It was a festive Friday night in Northport Village, where hundreds of people gathered for the annual tree lighting ceremony. Joining together in lighting the village tree were Olympian Allie Long, of Northport, who played on the U.S. National Women’s Soccer team in this past summer’s Olympic Games; and Michael Brannigan, of East Northport, a U.S. Paralympian who won a gold in the 1,500-meter race at this year’s Paralympic games.
Long said that she was honored to participate in the local event and honored to be part of the Northport community. In her journey as a professional soccer player, Long shared some words of wisdom for those young aspiring athletes.
“If you have a dream, no matter how old you are, how far it seems from you, keep going, work as hard as possible and I’m proof that anything can happen,” she said. “Life is going to take you on crazy journeys but you have to always remember where you came from.”
Along with the lighting of the tree, Friday’s festivities included two live reindeers for family members to pet, caroling by the Northport Chorale, free hot chocolate courtesy of Shipwreck Diner, Copenhagen Bakery, and Northport Feed & Grain; and a visit from Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, who arrived on a Northport fire truck.