Sunset Park

Sunset Park greets shoppers with splendid holiday tree

December 5, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The tree is all aglow on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 60th Street. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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Sunset Park residents and those who enjoy coming to the neighborhood to do their holiday shopping can now put another item on their to-do list: visiting the community’s beautiful Christmas tree.

The majestic tree stands on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH), one of the largest Catholic churches in Brooklyn.

The Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID) and OLPH co-sponsored a tree lighting ceremony Thursday night, an event that drew a large crowd of families with children who, in addition to seeing the tree’s hundreds of twinkling lights come on, got the chance to meet Santa Claus.

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Santa cheerfully posed to pictures with children and listened as they told him what they wanted him to bring them for Christmas.

The tree lighting ceremony also included a stage show. A stage was set up on the sidewalk on Fifth Avenue in front of the basilica. There was non-stop entertainment featuring lots of local talent, including the Regina Opera Company, the OLPH Twirlers, the Saint Agatha School Chorus, the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association Chorus and the OLPH Children’s Choir.

“It’s sort of like the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center, except that’s it’s here in Sunset Park,” Sunset Park BID Executive Director Renee Giordano told the Brooklyn Eagle.

Councilmember Carlos Menchaca stopped by the ceremony to extend his holiday wishes. Menchaca (D-Sunset Park-Red Hook) said he was impressed by talented young performers onstage.

“The talent in this community is amazing!” he told the Eagle.

In between the acts, stage hands tossed free candy, T-shirts and shopping bags into the crowd.

At 6 p.m., it was time to light the tree. “OK, is everybody ready?” Giordano asked. “Let’s do the countdown. Ten, nine, eight…”

When the countdown reached one, the tree was suddenly glowing with light.

The Sunset Park BID represents property owners and merchants on Fifth Avenue between 38th and 64th streets. The BID’s goal is to promote the businesses on Fifth Avenue so that more people come to the area to shop.

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