Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights got into the holiday spirit this week at back-to-back Christmas tree lightings, full of food, fun and anticipation as kiddos lined up to meet the North Pole’s most popular resident.
The tree lighting ceremonies — hosted by NIA Community Service Network in partnership with Assemblymember Peter Abbate, Councilmember Justin Brannan and State Senator Andrew Gounardes — drew crowds to Shore Road Park on Monday, Nov. 28 and to Dyker Beach Park on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
On Monday, families and friends alike gathered at Shore Road Park to enjoy musical performances from the Xaverian High School Chorus and carolers from the Guild for Exceptional Children in Bay Ridge — and hopefully grab a picture with Santa.
“The event was a great success. So many families came out for this festive celebration of the start to the holiday season,” Sarah Harlow, director of development and communications at NIA, told Brooklyn Paper. “Santa was there to celebrate with us, giving out candy canes, spreading holiday cheer, and posing for photos.”
Along with co-hosting the event, Harlow and her team also provided snacks and chocolate milk for the guests while local electeds and NIA Founder and President Mike Bove led the countdown to lighting the tree.
On Tuesday, the cheer spread to Dyker Beach Park, where another towering tree was illuminated for the season.
Many children and their families gathered to listen to Christmas songs and meet Santa.
For Brannan, the beloved holiday traditions have a special place in his heart.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year. This is when you truly appreciate what a small town in a big city we are. There’s just no other place like it. Seeing the kids smile is what it’s all about,” he said in a statement. “Keeping these great local traditions alive for the next generation. For me, that’s the Christmas spirit.”