Shining Sunset! Christmas comes to Fifth Avenue

Shining Sunset! Christmas comes to Fifth Avenue
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

All the Christmas lights go on at Sunset!

Hundreds gathered around Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue to bask in the local merchants’ group’s holiday spirit.

The Sunset Park Business Improvement District — representing the merchants along the Fifth Avenue commercial corridor — shared its Yuletide cheer with its neighbors by the lighting its 14th annual Christmas tree.

“This is the season for the merchants, and we try to give something back,” said executive director Renee Giordano.

Giordano said the business group goes out of its way to recruit local entertainers to provide festive entertainment for the crowd — including neighborhood bands like Max Reiser and the Apples, carolers from the Brooklyn Chinese American Association and Saint Agatha’s Church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s baton-twirling team, and Bay Ridge’s Regina Opera Company. Organizers even invited a group of children from the audience to come up on stage and sing Jingle Bells.

“It’s our own young people entertaining their friends and relatives, as opposed to having somebody you don’t know up on the stage,” said Giordano.

Santa Claus was on hand, too, listening to kids’ Christmas wishes and handing out some 350 bags of treats. Giordano and her staff were also giving out t-shirts and candy canes.

“We felt we should make a full production out of it for everybody in the community,” Giordano said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Church spire: The tree glows outside Our Lady of Perpetual Help at the corner of 60th Street and Fifth Avenue.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham