’tis the Season to Be Jolly Again

Good Tiddings & Cheer Found At Local Tree Lightings

It’s Christmas time in the city once again, and that means a bevy of tree lightings and other holiday happenings across the Times Newsweekly coverage area in the weeks to come.

All are invited to participate in the local holiday festivities, many of which include refreshments, music, colorful light displays and a visit from a certain visitor from the North Pole.

The events—scheduled to take place rain, snow or shine— include the following:


Plenty of yuletide cheer will be spread around Ridgewood at a variety of holiday events leading up to Christmas.

First, the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association will hold its annual tree lighting and concert next Thursday night, Dec. 4, at I.S. 93. The program begins at 7 p.m. on the sidewalk in front of the school, located on Forest Avenue between Madison and Woodbine streets.

The civic group will turn on the holiday lights adorning one of the school’s evergreen trees, then lead all guests in singing various Christmas carols and other holiday hits. Santa Claus is also expected to drop by and hand out candy canes for the children.

Following the tree lighting, all will be invited inside the I.S. 93 auditorium to enjoy refreshments and a holiday concert program featuring pianist Stephen Haufe, the St. Matthias Youth Choir, carolers from Martin Luther School in Maspeth, the Polonaise Youth Dancers and Ridgewood’s own Gottscheer Men’s and Women’s Choir.

Myrtle Avenue will also be a hub of holiday delights this December, with musicians performing on Sundays at the 71st Avenue Plaza, located at the corner of Myrtle and 71st avenues; and Venditti Square, located at the corner of Myrtle and St. Nicholas avenues.

At the 71st Avenue Plaza, the NYC Brass Entourage and the Opera on Tappers Carolers will perform at noon and 2 p.m., respectively, on two consecutive Sundays, Dec. 7 and 14. Meanwhile, the band Silverteeth will play at Venditti Square on Dec. 7 and 14 beginning at 2 p.m.

Santa Claus is also coming in for a landing at the 71st Avenue Plaza on Dec. 14 for a three-hour photo session with local children from noon to 3 p.m. Parents are urged to bring their own cameras.

Meanwhile, the Onderdonk House will hold a traditional European celebration of St. Nicholas Day from noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the landmark farmhouse located at 1820 Flushing Ave.

Officially celebrated on Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day is the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra, a fourthcentury bishop known to have left gifts for children while traveling across Europe. He was the inspiration for the Dutch story of Sinterklaas (Santa Claus), which was eventually brought to the New World from The Netherlands.

Guests attending the Onderdonk House on Dec. 7 will get to meet St. Nicholas, participate in crafts and enjoy apple cider, hot chocolates and other treats. Admission is $3 for adults; children are free.

For more information, visit www.onderdonkhouse.org.

The 104th Precinct is also getting into the holiday spirit with its own free community holiday celebration on Saturday, Dec. 13, from noon to 4 p.m. at the stationhouse located at 64-02 Catalpa Ave.

Local children will get a chance to have their pictures taken with Santa Claus and experience a petting zoo. All guests are invited to enjoy refreshments including hot chocolate and cookies.

Finally, the Ridgewood YMCA invites all to enjoy its Winter Family Showcase from 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 13, located at the corner of CatalpaAvenue and 64th Street, across from the 104th Precinct.

The festivities include winter arts and crafts, face painting, games and musical performances. For more information, call 1-212- 912-2180 or email [email protected].


Holiday cheer will be spread across Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside at various holiday lighting ceremonies held over five consecutive nights between Sunday, Nov. 30, and next Thursday, Dec. 4.

As announced by City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, the first holiday event is the Manton Family Tree Lighting and Holiday Extravaganza Sunday night at 6 p.m. at 33-30 58th St. in Woodside. This will be followed by a concert and reception at Christ Lutheran Church Hall, located at 33-57 58th St., and a street lighting ceremony on Broadway at 58th Street, near Sergeant Collins Park.

The events are co-sponsored by the Northern Woodside Coalition and Goliard Concerts Inc .

Woodside will light up the following evening, Monday, Dec. 1, with the community’s holiday lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Members of Woodside on the Move and Van Bramer will flip the switch on the holiday lights at the corner of 61st Street and Woodside Avenue.

Sunnyside merchants and residents will welcome the holiday season in style with its annual lighting ceremony scheduled for Tuesday night, Dec. 2, near the Sunnyside Arch.

Organized by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, the festivities will take place at the corner of Greenpoint Avenue and 46th Street.

The Sunnyside Drum Corps will perform traditional holiday hits before the lights are turned on.

The holiday fun rolls on in Sunnyside the next night, Wednesday, Dec. 3, as the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and the Skillman Project hold their fifth annual holiday lighting. The festivities will take place at 6 p.m. at the corner of Skillman Avenue and 50th Street. Choirs from P.S. 11 and P.S. 150 are scheduled to perform.

Finally, Long Island City turns on its holiday lights with a ceremony on Thursday night. Sponsored by Van Bramer, the LIC Partnership, JetBlue and LIC Business Women, the festivities begin at 5 p.m. at LIC Bar, located at 45-58 Vernon Blvd.


Glendale residents will get plugged into the holiday spirit during the community’s annual Christmas tree lighting on Dec. 7.

Sponsored by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, the fun begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Glendale Veterans Triangle, located at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and 70th Street.

Guests will get to enjoy live music from the Joe Fuoco Music Center and sing Christmas carols. Santa Claus is also scheduled to make an appearance and deliver some early Christmas gifts to children.


The Christmas fun will continue in Maspeth on Friday night, Dec. 5, with the community’s annual tree lighting hosted by the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce and Maspeth Federal Savings bank.

As announced, the tree will be lit up at 6 p.m. at Maspeth Memorial Square, located at the corner of 69th Street and Grand Avenue.

Prior to the tree lighting, guests will enjoy holiday music and dance performances from Liz and Bill Huisman and the Song-and-a-Dance School students. Ol’ St. Nick is also set to stop by and meet local kids; past visits by Santa Claus were arranged through the Fire Department’s Squad Co. 288 and Haz-Mat 1, which are headquartered near the memorial square.

Two lucky raffle entrants will also get to take home a free bicycle; one raffle coupon will be given to each guest.

Woodhaven will dedicate the first weekend of December to holiday fun with the community’s annual Christmas tree and Hanukkah menorah lighting and the “Welcome Santa to Woodhaven” Parade.

The Woodhaven Business Improvement District sponsors both events.

The tree and menorah lighting will take place on Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Forest Parkway Plaza, located at the corner of Forest Parkway and Jamaica Avenue. Santa Claus and other costumed characters are scheduled to meet and greet guests; there will also be performances of traditional holiday tunes.

Santa’s parade gets underway at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 6 from the corner of 96th Street and Jamaica Avenue. Marchers will head west along Jamaica Avenue to Dexter Court. Free prizes and Santa Hats will be distributed to guests.