It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas: Local org lights tree in Cannonball Park for first time in Bay Ridge history

Bay Ridge tree lighting cannonball park
Santa Claus dropped by Cannonball Park on Nov. 30 for a festive tree lighting celebration.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

A Christmas tree is twinkling in Cannonball Park for the first time in Bay Ridge history after a celebratory lighting ceremony on Nov. 30.

NIA Community Services Network kicked off the holiday season with two annual tree lightings — but while it was business as usual in Dyker Heights Park, the organization chose to move its Bay Ridge celebration to Cannonball Park — also known as John Paul Jones Park — in a slight break with tradition. 

christmas tree in cannonball park
For the first time ever, a tree is glittering in Cannonball Park. Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

“About a year ago I sent a text to my friend Leo and said next year we gotta light up the Christmas tree at Cannonball Park,'” said local Council Member Justin Brannan on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “And tonight we made it happen! A cool dream come true and a very special night for our community. Thanks to everyone who came out and celebrated with us!”

The enchanted evening celebration featured performances by local students and delectable sweet treats enjoyed by all — plus, spirited caroling performances from students at NIA P.S. 299, the Xaverian High School chorus and band, and the Guild for Exceptional Children. 

“It is an honor for NIA to partner with our elected officials and program sponsors to bring celebratory events to our communities throughout the year,” said NIA board president Michael A. Bové and CEO Mary Anne Cino in a joint statement. “Most especially during the holiday season, we gather together in the spirit of hope, for peace, and joy in the New Year.”

santa in bay ridge
Santa posed with Council Member Justin Brannan, state Sen. Iwen Chu, and Assembly Member Lester Chang. Photo courtesy of NIA Community Services
kids hugging cannonball park christmas tree
Young Bay Ridgeites hugged the drunk of the newly-shining tree. Photo courtesy of NIA Community Services

Even Old Saint Nick made a special trip down from the North Pole to celebrate the start of the holiday season in southern Brooklyn, where he posed for photos with young Ridgeites and enjoyed all the festivities. 

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” wrote state Sen. Andrew Gounardes on X. “What a special time lighting up the tree in Cannonball Park for the first time! Thank you to everyone who made this happen. Wishing a happy holiday season to all!”