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Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights get into the holiday spirit at annual tree lightings

Bay Ridge leaders usher in the holiday spirit at the beginning of the Christmas season.
Southern Brooklyn electeds joined NIA Community Services Network to usher in the holiday spirit at back-to-back Christmas tree lightings in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights. Santa, seen here with kids at Shore Road Park, made appearances at both lightings.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

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. 

Locals got to grab a picture with Santa and enjoy some sweet treats at the annual Shore Road tree lighting event.
Locals got to grab a picture with Santa and enjoy some sweet treats at the annual Shore Road Christmas tree lighting.Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

“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.”

Xaverian High School Chorus and carolers from the Guild for Exceptional Children in Bay Ridge led the crowd in holiday classics.
The Xaverian High School Chorus and carolers from the Guild for Exceptional Children led the crowd in holiday classics.Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

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.

The Dyker Beach Park Christmas tree all aglow.Photo by Arthur de Gaeta

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.”

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