The Vincents of East Flatbush gave the Rockefeller Center tree lighting a miss this Christmas, preferring to keep their festivities close to home.
“All we did was step across the street, it was very pocket-friendly,” chuckled mom Renee Marshall-Vincent, who didn’t even have to remove her slippers to take her daughter, Lenique, 12, and 3-year-old son L.J. to Paerdegat Park at Albany and Foster avenues for a forest’s worth of Yuletide cheer provided by CB 17, the Parks Department and PS 198.
The thrill of watching a huge, bow-decked pine burst into light capped the frolic for bubbly Lenique, who said that she didn’t mind braving the chill for such an important occasion.
“I was really excited to be with my community, and the cold didn’t bother me because it was such fun,” chimed the seventh grade student at Mark Twain Junior High School.
“It was a nice get-together,” she added thoughtfully.
Her brother was a little luckier when it came to attracting the attention of the ol’ elf in the red suit.
“I told Santa to buy me a gift,” gurgled L.J.
The rollicking revel featured plenty of community input with neighborhood restaurants donating food and hot chocolate, members of God’s Battalion of Prayer performing a crowd-pleasing skit entitled “A Human Video,” and choirs from PS 198 and St. Vincent’s Ferrer Church singing holiday tunes.
Youth dancers also played a part in stepping up the tempo with their festive footwork.
“It was something we hadn’t done before, and it ended up being a good experience for everyone,” said Marshall-Vincent.