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

The Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

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EVERYTHING’S PURPLE: Sydney Hollon-King, left, and her daughter Stella wore Barney-licious outfits to the Fort Greene Park gathering.
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WARMING THEIR HANDS: From left, sisters Nia and Simone Menniefield of Clinton Hill stave off the cold with hot chocolate.
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CHRISTMAS GLEE: What the Fort Greene tree lacks in size, it more than makes up for in wattage.
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OUR NABE IN LIGHTS: The tree glows in front of the house of worship on Atlantic Avenue.
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Cookie connoisseurs: Emma Meade from Clinton Hill, left, and Ella Johnson of Crown Heights munch on cookies at the Fort Greene Park Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 7.
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HO, HO, HO: Santa Claus spead holiday cheer on Atlantic Avenue on Dec. 5, when he flipped the switch to light a Christmas tree in front of the Belarusian Church.

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.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reader feedback

Debbie Herdan from Kensington says:
Re: December 9, 2014 / Brooklyn news / Photo Galleries / Fort Greene
Tree-light-ful: Fort Greene, Boerum Hill flip the switch
BY MATTHEW PERLMAN
The Brooklyn Paper
Hi,
I just read this paragraph: "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."

Jeanine was in 6th grade this year with my son at MS 51 and tragically died last week due to complications of asthma. I'm wondering if the photographer has any photos of the girls. If so, I can forward them to the Parent Coordinator at MS 51.
Thanks very much, Debbie Herdan
djherdan@gmail.com
May 19, 2016, 8:26 pm

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