Cold weather is no match for holiday warmth.
Ridgites braved the cold and turned out in droves to light the Christmas tree in McKinley Park on Dec. 3, but that was just the beginning of the festivities. Santa turned up just after the tree was lit, and meeting the man in red was an unforgettable experience for many of the dozens of youngsters who lined up to sit on his lap, said one parent.“The whole experience with Santa was great — he was on point,” said Amanda Acosta, who came with her son Joseph. “My son’s face was so shocked when he got to meet him.”
There were 200 or so kids who lined up to meet Santa, according to a spokesman for state Senator Martin Golden, who sponsored the event alongside the Dyker Heights Civic Association. St. Nick gave each kid either a stuffed animal, a plush football, or some playing cards. Kids warmed up by playing on the park playground after meeting the famous gift-giver, Golden’s spokesman said.“It was a very cold night but there was a lot of holiday spirit going around,” said John Quaglione. “A lot of the kids were running around on the playground after meeting Santa. They had a great time.”
Volunteers also served hot cocoa and cookies to keep both kids and adults warm and happy. The Dyker Heights School IS 201 band braved the cold to play Christmas tunes for the crowd of revelers and volunteers collected toy donations for Toys for Tots.