Bay Ridge celebrated its first of many tree lightings this holiday season on Thursday, November 29 at State Senator Marty Golden’s annual decking at the Shore Road Park gazebo.
“When the lights come on, out of the darkness, it represents our hope for love, joy and peace – not only for our neighborhood but throughout the world,” Golden told a packed crowed near the corner of 90th Street and Shore Road.
The pol said that, “Christmas is a time for giving,” and encouraged the crowd to reserve some of their thought for local seniors and the homeless this time of year. “If you have a chance this Christmas to knock on a door, to make a senior’s day or to make a family happy, please do that.
“That’s what makes our neighborhood great,” he went on, adding that, “We’re going to continue to do that because we live in the greatest neighborhood in the greatest city in the greatest state in the greatest nation in the world.”
The event – which Golden has hosted since his early years in office – also served as a goodbye of sorts for the outgoing politician, though he shared the spotlight, asking his entire staff to join him at the foot of the tree.
“I want to bring up my beautiful staff that’s worked so hard over the years to work for this community,” he said.
Though, he was at the receiving end of thanks from Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis and Councilmember Justin Brannan, both of whom attended the annual lighting and lauded the tradition.
“I want to thank Marty for tonight and for all the years that he has worked to better this community,” said Malliotakis, who also called Golden a “wonderful partner” in Albany.
As for the event, she said, “We’re not even in December yet but, here in Bay Ridge, we celebrate the holidays all year ‘round. That’s because it’s about family, it’s about community and it’s about working together to improve the place that we live and call home.”
Brannan shared similar sentiments.
“This time of year is really about recognizing what is so special and some of the things that are really important to us,” he told the crowd. “Our families, our friends – that’s what this is all about. If we could continue that spirit all throughout the year, what a beautiful place we would have.”
He also commended Golden for “making traditions like this an institution in our neighborhood.”
The lighting, as always, featured live entertainment courtesy of the Xaverian High School music program and the Guild for Exceptional Children – and a special visit from Santa.