Sunset Park lights the night

Friends of Sunset Park, an advocacy group working in the neighborhood from which it derives its name, organized a community Christmas tree lighting on Friday, December 14.

Led by group president and founder Maria Roca, 30 people gathered in Sunset Park’s Central Meadow at 7 p.m. to watch a tree adorned with lights spring to life.

“The spirit of the event was to light up the park with joy for the holidays,” said Roca.

Onlookers included Boy and Girl Scout troops from St. Agatha’s as well as interested members of the community.

“This is a very important event,” Roca said. “It’s a purely civic endeavor, everyone is invited to participate. It’s about building community.”

After the lighting, onlookers were invited back for cookies and hot cocoa at the neighborhood’s recreation center.

Friends of Sunset Park was originally founded as an advocacy group to protect and maintain the park. However, according to Roca, it has expanded its duties over the past few years into the wider community, seeking to build an ever-closer relationship between residents and the park.

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