BAY RIDGE — Santa and all his helpers were making spirits bright at St. Anselm Catholic Academy’s annual Winter Wonderland on the weekend of Dec. 14 and 15. The church, located at 83rd Street and Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge, offered visitors the opportunity to shop local from a wide array of new and unique vendors surrounding a 25-foot Christmas tree.
Admission was free and there were refreshments for sale thanks to members of Scout Troop 13. Kids got to play games and jump in the giant bounce house, stop by Candyland, and make delicious gingerbread men and women.
The festivities also included a toy giveaway, crafts, games in the Christmas Village, and a photo-op with Santa.
Community leader Paul Muccigrosso said that dressing up as Santa was a family tradition. “I’ve done it for several years now following in my grandfather, Raymond Wilson’s, footsteps,” Muccigrosso told this paper.
“He did it when I was a child in the ‘70s and he was the best Santa, rosy-cheeked and with a fairly large belly. I still have a picture of him as Santa at Winter Wonderland 1973 with my aunt as the pixie, and me and all of my brothers and first cousins are in the picture.”
St. Anselm Board Chairperson John Quaglione was delighted with the turnout. “I applaud the group of volunteers who dedicated so much time to making Winter Wonderland at St. Anselm’s possible for our students, parish and community to enjoy,” said Quaglione.
“There were many smiling children who had the chance to ask Santa Claus for their Christmas wishes, and others who decorated gingerbread cookies. The lantern of St. Anselm Boy Scout Troop 13, lit from the Peace Light in Bethlehem, helped to further bring the joy and spirit of Christmas to the event,” he added.