Near and reindeer! Live animals sleigh crowd at Downtown tree-lighting

The Brooklyn Paper
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Jingle bells: The Brooklyn Youth Chorus belted out some lovely carols.
Santa’s ride: Attendees were treated to the sight of a bonafide reindeer.
Holiday chief: Santa Claus ran the show from atop a fire truck.
MetroTech Christmas: The tree, the tallest in the borough, features more than 10,000 lights.

Talk about horse power!

Santa Claus parked his sleigh and two bona fide reindeers in the middle of Downtown’s MetroTech Commons on Monday when he flew in to attend the office complex’s annual tree lighting ceremony, delighting visitors who said they were even more impressed with Father Christmas’s ride than the jolly fat man himself.

“I’ve always wanted to see a reindeer, and I finally saw one,” said Renee Joseph, who has worked at MetroTech for more than two years.

Santa was joined by a cavalcade of singers, dancers, clowns, firefighters, pols, and Nets players who all gathered below the giant arbor to celebrate its illumination.

This year’s show went off without a hitch — a sharp contrast from last year’s tree-lighting ceremony, which was plagued by foul weather, creating an infamously slippery stage for performers.

“We tried to come last year, but it was sleeting and people were falling on stage, so this is our second year trying,” said Whitney Radia, who came to the lighting with her 3-year-old daughter Radia.

The show kicked off with the Grammy-award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, who sang a few carols in the frigid December air, followed up by a dance routine courtesy of local dance crew Dancewave, who worked up a sweat in festive holiday sweaters.

Borough president Adams made an appearance, along with Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigra, and Nets ballers Thaddeus Young and Chris McCollough.

Afterwards, Santa climbed aboard a nearby fire truck and travlled up on a cherry picker to the tree, where he officially inaugurated the holiday season by turning the lights on.

And kids — the most important and discerning tree-lighting critics — gave the spectacle their thumbs up.

“They had a wonderful time,” said Downtown worker Stacey Spears, who brought her 6-year-old kids Siobhan and Brandon.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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