The show must go on, and that it did on Tuesday, November 29 as Bay Ridge celebrated its first of many tree lightings this holiday season at the Shore Road Park gazebo.
“Thank you for coming out in this rainstorm and enjoying a great, great evening,” said State Senator Marty Golden, whose office, since taking over for former organizer Linda Allegretti, now runs the tree lighting in conjunction with the Shore Road Parks Conservancy.
“This is a tradition that has been going on for eight years, and it was started by Linda Allegretti,” said Charles Fasano, president of the Shore Road Parks Conservancy. “We’re so happy that Senator Golden’s office took it over and we’re really excited to continue this tradition with them.”
The rain-soaked lighting went off without a hitch, despite a few hiccups earlier in the day.
“Just to give you an idea of what happened to us today, driving down the street earlier, a tree came down on top of my car,” said Golden, adding that, later, while putting up the tree alongside Bay Ridge activist Chip Cafiero, the ladder the pair was using went “right through the windshield.”
“It’s been a costly day for us,” the senator joked, “but, you know what? We wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Due to inclement weather, the lighting’s usual performances by the Guild for Exceptional Children and the Xaverian High School Band were moved across the street from the gazebo to inside of Shore Hill (9000 Shore Road).
“Usually it’s the post office that, rain, sleet, snow or hail, they never stop,” said Liam McCabe, at the event on behalf of Congressmember Dan Donovan. “But they couldn’t keep Golden or any of us back from lighting this tree. That’s the holiday spirit.”
Councilmember Vincent Gentile agreed.
“It’s not the weather that matters, it’s the season,” he said, joining Golden and Fasano in announcing a slew of upgrades – including renovations to both the baseball fields and the park house – coming down the pipeline for the strip. “Shore Road Park is really on the rebound . . . that’s a good reason to celebrate tonight.”