By Maria Rocha-Buschel
The Christmas season is in full swing throughout the neighborhood this month, with a number of areas celebrating the holiday with Christmas tree lightings, including Stuyvesant Town’s tree on the Oval and Madison Square Park, which holds the title of oldest tree lighting in the country.
StuyTown Property Services general manager Rick Hayduk lead the annual reading of “Twas The Night Before a StuyTown Christmas” at the tree lighting on the Oval last Wednesday night, with a local twist on the Christmas classic, and Lucy & the Goossettes performed Christmas favorites throughout the evening while hot chocolate was served to the hundreds of residents who attended.
Santa Claus made an appearance at the lighting before the main event, when residents flipped the switch for the occasion.
Councilmember Carlina Rivera was on hand in Madison Square Park the following night last Thursday to help kick off the holidays for NoMad. The park has been celebrating the tree lighting for more than 100 years.
“When it’s the holiday season, I always try to make sure that I’m reflecting on a great year,” Rivera said before helping the Madison Square Park Conservancy flip the switch for the tree. “And that I think about family and friends and all those who maybe don’t have someone, so when you’re in your classroom or you’re somewhere out there shopping, try to smile at someone, show them some love, show them the kindness in your heart. That’s what the holiday season is all about.”