While Manhattan was kicking off the holiday season at Rockefeller Center, Brooklyn had its own time to spread Christmas cheer.
The season of giving was alive and well at McKinley Park as State Senator Marty Golden hosted his annual tree lighting there on Wednesday, December 3. The rain cleared up for locals to celebrate the beginning of the season. Joining local dignitaries were families, members of the FDNY and NYPD as well as the I.S. 201 band.
“It has become a great tradition here to join together to celebrate the holidays, and give thanks for all the good in our lives,” said Golden. “This night shows solidarity within the community and brings everyone together. These are tough times that we’re going through, but this lighting brings some holiday joy and hope to everyone here.”
After Golden’s speech, I.S. 201 performed Christmas tunes such as “White Christmas” as well as contemporary songs such as “Let it Go.”
Band leader John Altieri was happy his students got the chance to perform for the neighborhood. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for kids to demonstrate the skills that they’ve learned in front of their community and parents for a festive occasion,” he said. “The more opportunities we get, the better.”
“The music has been wonderful,” added Fran Vella-Marrone, president of the Dyker Civic Association, who helped emcee the event.
Hot chocolate was distributed to all that attended. Candy canes were given out to the children.
Following the performances from the band, Santa Claus made his grand entrance to the park to the delight of the cheering children to help count down to the tree lighting with Golden and FDNY members. Kids and their families then got an opportunity to pose for photographs with Saint Nick.
“I want to thank Marty Golden and all of you for inviting us here. It looks like there’s a great turnout here tonight,” said FDNY Captain Paul Brincat.
“It’s a great sense of community. The families love it,” said attendee Paulette M.