Friday, December 07, 2007

Tree lighting brings out Harlem's Brightest!

Last night, the Friends of St. Nicholas Park hosted their Annual Tree Lighting at the park's 135th Street Plaza.

William Mullin of the Friends MC'd the evening, and introduced the crowd to the Friends' tree ornament fundraiser. For as little as $10, an ornament with your personalized message will be hung on the park's impressive tree. Click below to fill out the form to have your message or family name displayed in vivid color on St. Nick's Tree.

The Dorothy Maynor singers from the Harlem School of the Arts and the St. Mark's Church Choir started off the entertainment and delighted the crowd with their carol singing. Then, after the countdown, Councilwoman Inez Dickens helped flip the switch to ignite the 15-foot-tall spruce tree. She had help from Linda Guy, who works in Senator Bill Perkins' office, and TV Star Tamara Tunie.

The brilliantly lit tree provided the perfect backdrop for Tamara Tunie to deliver her highly entertaining and theatrical rendition of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Her voice and charm literally stopped traffic on St. Nicholas Avenue, where the street became as quiet as a Norman Rockwell painting. Then, with help from others, she launched us all into jovial caroling for the big finale of the night.

Despite the chill in the evening air, the gathering of about 40 neighborhood residents were also kept warm with constant flow of hot apple cider and hot chocolate provided by the Friends. The beverages were prepared with the help of St. Mark's Church and some of "Harv's Kids" made sure the hot stuff reached it's destination in the park, in their usual generous style. Without their help these events could not happen.

Click below to view all the photos from last night.

A special thanks to the following people who made this event possible.

Sarah Fort and Partnership for Parks
Park Manager Sal Trento
St. Mark's Church Board Member Ronald Guy
Risa Rottenberg
Laura Iorio
Julia Granaki
Jehanne Catalano
Philip Spletzer


samstone said...

Wow, sounds like such a great tree lighting. Makes me miss our old home and the park so much. I'm writing from our little farm in vermont, where we've been for nearly a year and a half but still miss Harlem! It just gives me chills to think of the strength of the neighborhood and sense of community everyone developed in st. Nicholas Park (it's hard to explain to rural Vermonters that our "dog walking friends" became some of our closest friends.) Anyway, congrats on a great event and miss you guys and hope some of you get a chance to come up and visit!

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Anonymous said...

How well I remember Saint Nicholas Park and St. Marks' Church. Back in the '40's my friends and I from 204 W. 140 Street played in the park and the recreation facility at the church.
Congratulations for keeping the neighbor-hood so vital and beautiful.

Signed: One of the Blessitt family.