BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Spirits were high as the Washington Square Association was back with an in-person tree-lighting ceremony on Dec. 8. Due to the pandemic, last year’s event was virtual.
People enjoyed caroling, with music provided by the Rob Sussman Brass Quartet, with Linseigh Green leading everyone through the carols songbook. A pair of local politicians also joined in the festive season’s cheer.
Founded in 1906, the Washington Square Association lays claim to being the city’s oldest neighborhood association — with its second-oldest tree-lighting ceremony.
“This year’s tree lighting was particularly special as we returned to the arch once again for our 97th tree lighting,” said Trevor Sumner, the association’s president. “Community traditions like this are ever more important. We saw a huge turnout, with crowds reaching all the way to the fountain and appearances from our new councilmember Christopher Marte and our state Senator Brad Hoylman, who both shared inspired words.
“What I love most about our tree lighting is it is truly a local event, a decidedly Greenwich Village community tradition,” the W.S.A. leader added. “What we have learned over the past year is how strong and meaningful our community ties truly are. Friends, families, communities. Kindness toward others. Thankfulness and celebrations of joy. I can’t imagine a better embodiment of the holiday spirit.”
Sugar Barry, a Washington Square Association board member, called the event “a really important moment in this year of discontent! Our park was filled, filled with happy people raising their voices in song!” she rejoiced. “Our traditional and beautiful holiday tree-lighting celebration in its 97th year.”