Here comes Santa Claus!
This holiday season was a memorable one for merchants and families “on the avenue” and throughout Brooklyn as the calendar was packed with holiday parties, toy drives and special visits from Jolly Old St. Nick himself.
This past weekend, for instance, families flocked to Fifth Avenue for a chance to enjoy an enchanted horse and carriage ride with Santa outside PC’s Bar & Grill, 7215 Fifth Ave., on Sunday, Dec. 19. The event was sponsored by Bill Boshell of Super Roofer and featured an authentic horse and carriage that carried Santa and his guests around the block for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Afterward, Santa posed for photos with children and their families in attendance.
Also this past weekend on Fifth, the renown Broadway Carolers accompanied Santa as he merrily strolled along the shopping thoroughfare to bring cheer to merchants and shoppers alike on Saturday, Dec. 18. The event was dubbed “Festive Fifth” by Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District organizers.
The group ended their jolly jaunt outside Coldwell Banker Reliable on Bay Ridge Parkway (75th Street), where the carolers gave a final spirited performance for the crowd of onlookers as Santa greeted excited youngsters. It was the site of the Fifth Avenue BID’s Christmas tree display, which served as the perfect backdrop for photos with the icon himself.
“The Bay Ridge Fifth Avenue BID, with sponsorship from Investor’s Bank, was delighted to host ‘Festive Fifth,’” BID Executive Director Amanda Zenteno said. “Santa Claus and the Broadway Carolers brought holiday cheer strolling Fifth Avenue. It was heartwarming to see the joy and excitement on the children’s faces as they greeted Santa while the carolers performed a range of traditional songs that had people singing along in the holiday spirit.”
It was the culmination of a busy month for the BID, which produced an interactive online holiday shopping guide to help promote many of the small businesses located “on the avenue.” The BID also sponsored a “Letters to Santa” campaign that allowed local children to place their letters to the North Pole into a mailbox set up at the site of the BID tree throughout the month of December.
“We do these events to highlight that you can truly find everything you need locally on Fifth Avenue,” Zenteno said.
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Revelers hardly need a reason to party during the holidays, but the Merchants of Third Avenue had a noble one when they gathered for the Association’s Annual Holiday Party on Monday night, Dec. 13 at Sofia’s Restaurant, 8406 Third Ave. Everyone in attendance was asked to bring one new unwrapped toy to be donated to the 10th Annual Holiday Toy Drive organized by Olivia’s Foundation.
The foundation — founded in honor of Olivia Marie, who was nearly 3 when she lost her 11-month battle with a PNET brainstem tumor — raises money for pediatric brain tumor research.
Organizer Enza Boccuzzi was on hand to collect the dozens of toys donated by local merchants, all of which were to be delivered directly to children at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Guests enjoyed the festive atmosphere inside Sofia’s as Merchants of Third Avenue Acting President Dan Texeira reflected upon the past year’s successes and discussed exciting plans for 2022. Fellow board members Louis Coluccio of A.L.C. Italian Grocery, Sheila Brody of The Green Spa & Wellness Center, Jeanine Condon of Charmed by JLM, Albert Corhan of Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn, Mary Ann Kearns of Caffe Café and Danielle Febles-King of The Ridge Kids enjoyed mingling with merchants and sharing ideas for what promises to be an exciting and eventful new year.