Oh Christmas tree!
For the 15th year, the Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID) held its Christmas Tree Lighting outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (OLPH), on the corner of 60th Street and Fifth Avenue. On Thursday, December 4, families, BID members, local businesses and schools gathered outside despite the chilly evening to spread holiday cheer in the community.
“It went really well,” said Executive Director of the Sunset BID Renée Giordano. “We had a good number of community groups like we usually do. The Brooklyn Chinese American Association, P.S. 105, the Saint Agatha Youth Chorus, the OLPH Choir and Twirlers performed as well as the Regina Opera. There were soloists too. We had a nice mix of all different types of music.”
In addition to the holiday performances, Santa Claus made an appearance, not only to take photos with the children, but to also give out over 350 bags of goodies. Pictures of the kids and Saint Nick were posted on the Sunset Park BID Facebook page so that parents could revisit one the kids’ favorite part of the festivities.
“They really like to sit with Santa and also sing along to the songs. We also give out candy canes. Adults got reusable shopping bags from the BID and t-shirts,” Giordano said. “For children, one of the best things is seeing their friends performing. It’s nice to see kids on stage outdoors singing for friends. It’s great to do for the schools. The performers get a nice taste of being in a different venue.”
Father Joseph Tizio of OLPH was also in attendance to bless the tree and help count down the lighting of it. “He’s great about letting us put the tree up,” Giordano said.
The tradition of the BID tree lighting, only broken one year due to a snow storm, means a great deal to Sunset Park. “One of the reasons (it’s special) is that businesses like to do something special for customers and give back to the community,” Giordano added. “It’s mostly for the kids as far as we’re concerned. We like providing local community performances for each other and bringing in the New Year being together.”
The tree will remain lit until January 6.