Sleigh-ing the crowd: Reindeers fly into MetroTech for tree-lighting

Brooklyn Paper
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Guest of honor: Santa lights up the Christmas tree at MetroTech Commons on Dec. 1.
Oh deer: The reindeers brought an authentic touch to the proceedings.
They know a thing or two about lighting: The National Grid Festival chorus led the crowd in sing-a-longs. The enegry giant is lucky enough share a building with this very newspaper at 1 MetroTech.
Good tidings: Glancy Rodriguez, Venus Sherathiya, and Yash Gandhi enjoy free coffee and cookies.
Family fun: Youngster Alesander Zabala had the best seat in the house — on dad Johan’s shoulders.
Commander in cheer: Borough President Adams offered his season’s greetings.
All smiles: Starr, Michael, and Skylar Celestin show off their holiday cheer.

It’s a beloved holiday tradition.

Hundreds of Downtown dwellers, workers, and students gathered in MetroTech Commons for the office complex’s annual tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 1, where they were joined by a pair of live reindeer who added a whimsical touch that embodied the (secular) reason for the season, according to one attendee.

“It just makes you feel like a kid again — isn’t that what Christmas is all about?” said Park Sloper Kathryn McNeill, who works at New York University.

Alongside the Christmas caribou — rented from Arch Barn Farm in Pennsylvania for the event — the crowd members enjoyed free hot beverages and cookies, and sing-alongs with both National Grid’s choir and the Grammy-winning pipes of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, before Santa emerged to help light up the massive Douglas Fir.

But for many, it was his antlered associates who really stole the show.

“They’re actually my favorite thing because I never got to see reindeer until I came here,” said Ronald Cossich, who attends the nearby New York University Tandon School of Engineering, which helped with the lighting for the event. “This was the first time I’ve seen one and I just think they’re real cool.”

Not everyone was filled with holiday cheer at the sight of the arctic deer roaming a pen inside the Commons, however — one attendee didn’t think they were enjoying the event as much as everyone else.

“The reindeer are cute but they kind of look sad,” said local student Sally Choi.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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