A southern Brooklyn community group made their end of the borough much brighter this month with a trio of spectacular Christmas tree lighting celebrations.
This year marked the triumphant return of the annual tree lightings, which — like many of the borough’s extravagant holiday celebrations — were put on hold last year due to the pandemic.
“During this season of giving, NIA is incredibly proud to once again offer these beautiful and fun Christmas Tree Lighting ceremonies to the people of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights,” said NIA President Michael A. Bové and NIA Chief Executive Officer Mary Anne Cino in a joint statement provided to Brooklyn Paper. “We had a wonderful time joining our elected officials, Investors Bank, Santa, and carolers in spreading holiday cheer to the hundreds who attended, especially after last year’s pause in celebrations. We at NIA wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season!”
NIA Community Services Network kicked off its series of three Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 2 in Shore Road Park. The event, which featured a 10-foot tree in the park’s gazebo, drew approximately 250 attendees for a night of music, fun, cookies and chocolate milk.
The Guild for Exceptional Children Singers and the Xaverian High School chorus both performed at the Bay Ridge tree lighting, and even Santa Claus made an appearance.
All three annual events are put on in partnership with Councilmember Justin Brannan, state Sen. Andrew Gounardes, National Grid and Investors Bank — whose Dyker Heights location served as the venue for the Dec. 3 Christmas tree lighting.
“After the past two years we had, keeping even these small traditions alive takes on a new meaning and importance,” Brannan told Brooklyn Paper. “I was thankful to again work with our local partners to make this possible. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year and I hope these lights will bring smiles and cheer to everyone during these enduringly tough times.”
Christmas carolers sang to a crowd of about 100 people who gathered at the 13th Avenue money lender in addition to remarks from Brannan, Bovè and Investors Bank President Domenick Cama.
The organization’s third and final Christmas tree lighting on Dec 7 at Dyker Park saw another appearance from Santa Claus who this time was joined by his friends Sandy the Seagull and her adopted son Peewee, who helped Saint Nick entertain the kiddos.