Flatbush Ave. BID’s ‘Meet Santa’ and tree lighting event brought joy to kids of all ages

Event Held at Flatbush Reformed Church

December 13, 2016 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Flatbush Ave. & Church Ave. Business Improvement District’s (BID) Executive Director Lauren Elvers Collins, Councilmember Mathieu Eugene, Jingles the Elf (Sista Zaraya) with Santa and a young fan. Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
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On Saturday, Dec. 10, children, teens, and adults waited patiently to meet Santa as he sat on his white and gold throne on the steps of the historic Flatbush Reformed Church.

The event was spearheaded by Lauren Elvers Collins, Executive Director of Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) and Church Avenue BID. Guests included Councilmember Mathieu Eugene of Brooklyn’s 40th District and Nanette Nicholes, church administrator for the Flatbush Reformed Church.

Mistress of ceremonies Jingles the Elf (Sista Zaraya) joked with shoppers, led Christmas carols and danced with passersby. This special free event was arranged by the Flatbush Avenue BID and the Church Avenue BID to thank visitors for shopping local this holiday season.

Kids from the Flatbush Reformed Church created ornaments which they used to decorate the church’s fence. Goody bags were handed out along with hot chocolate and candy, and there were coloring books for all the kids.

Collins told the Brooklyn Eagle, “Seeing so many shoppers ignoring the chilly weather to stop and dance with Santa or get a refill on their hot chocolate was wonderful, but seeing the reaction of kids shopping on Flatbush Avenue with their parents as they suddenly realized that Santa was sitting right there on his throne on the church’s steps was priceless.”

When Santa was able to catch a few minutes in between children (and one confused dog) sitting on his lap, he was off his throne and helping people onto the B41 bus or opening taxi doors as visitors (including one mother and her delighted young daughter) arrived on Flatbush Avenue to shop.

As night fell, Jingles led those gathered in counting down to the lighting of the 15-foot Christmas tree installed in the church’s yard. A DJ playing Caribbean and American Christmas music kept the night lively as the children were replaced by happy shoppers dancing down the avenue.

The two BIDs’ second Meet Santa event will take place on Saturday Dec. 17, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Bobby’s Dept. Store (1628 Church Avenue) to thank visitors for shopping on Church Avenue.


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