Tree-light-ful: Fort Greene, Boerum Hill flip the switch

Tree-light-ful: Fort Greene, Boerum Hill flip the switch
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

They’ll leave the lights on for us.

The holiday season is in full swing in Brooklyn, and Fort Greene Park and Boerum Hill got in on the action last weekend with two tree lightings. One mom braved cold, soggy weather to bring her daughter out to Fort Greene’s Sunday shindig.

“It was freezing, but it was fun,” said Kerry Odom, who came from Crown Heights to the tree lighting in Fort Greene Park with her daughter. “The people were so warm you didn’t notice.”

Hot chocolate and cookies made their way around the crowd as well, in case yuletide cheer was not enough to keep attendees toasty. The modest tree, at the Myrtle Avenue and Washington Park corner of the green space, is sponsored by the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District and the Fort Greene Park Conservancy. The tree and the event were the perfect size for Odom.

“A lot of times at the big tree lightings you’re stuck watching from far away,” she said. “This was very intimate.”

Also in attendance to pose for photos was Santa Claus, a celebrity resident of the North Pole section of the Arctic Circle, known for his annual gift-giving frenzy. Claus took one 2-year-old onlooker by surprise.

“She was terrified of Santa,” said Sydney Hollon-King, whose 2-year-old daughter Stella was not familiar with Saint Nick’s backstory. “I really need to give her some more context surrounding Santa so she understands.”

Nevertheless, the lighting was a grand old time, the elder Hollon-King said.

“I really appreciate how diverse the crowd was,” she said. “But it felt like we all belonged. There was a real community feeling.”

Claus was fresh off a stopover on Atlantic Avenue at the Belarusian Church last Friday. The Atlantic Avenue Local Development Corporation threw that lighting, which also included singers from PS 38, refreshments, and a toy drive.

Jeanine and Justine Espinosa, 10-year-old twins from Boerum Hill, turned out to see the holiday activity. Their mom said she tries to bring them every year.

“We go for my babies,” said Jeannette Rodriguez. “So they can see the tree and Santa.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260–8310. E-mail him at mperl‌man@c‌ngloc‌al.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.