At 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, when the 18-foot high tree,festooned with twinkle lights and red ribbons, and topped with anangel, outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica on 60th Streetand Fifth Avenue was lit, the crowd broke out into smiles, gaspsand cheers.
Around 400 children and adults attended this year’s Sunset ParkHoliday Tree Lighting Ceremony outside OLPH last Thursday, eager toenjoy the warm weather, the bright lights, music and dancing,visits with Santa Claus, goody bags, friends, family, and, ofcourse, the start of the holiday season.
The 12th annual event was organized by the Sunset Park BusinessImprovement District (SPBID), which paid for the tree with somesupport from Health Plus and All-Star Savings, and a donatedplatform from The Clarimar Group.
The evening’s entertainment also reflected the neighborhood’scross-cultural influences, with performances by the BrooklynChinese American Association Youth Chorus, Manuel Flow, Mercy &Grace Band, Sol Tawil, St. Agatha’s School Chorus, Susan Elizabeth& Luciar, Sharmaine, Ivan Perez, El Urayon, the OLPH SchoolChorus, the OLPH Twirlers, Jon Bele, Grupo Cultural de Sunset Park,Morambo, Joe Torcicollo, and King Henry, and a martial arts demofrom Amerikicks.
The tree will be taken down around Three Kings Day, which is onFriday, January 6, 2012.