The East Village and the Lower East Side community celebrated the 31st annual tree lighting on the central lawn at Tompkins Square Park on Sun., Dec. 11.
The Carolers of Olde New York from Theater for the New City, who have sung at the event for years, were accompanied by the Mandel & Lydon Trio and the Third Street Music School Settlement. Crystal Field, the artistic director of Theater for the New City, recited “The Night Before Christmas.”
The carolers’ period-piece costumes, which they wear on this special occasion every year, were on loan from the Public Theater. One or two costumes were used in the original “Hamilton” production at the Public.
Neighborhood favorite, Ukrainian restaurant Veselka provided hot chocolate, C&B Cafe brought the cookies and Apple Savings Bank also provided refreshments.
Activist Albert Fabozzi planted the evergreen in 1992 in memory of park advocate Glenn Barnett and others who died of AIDS, and founded the annual community event that year.
Six festive holiday wreaths decorating lamp posts this season were donated by local residents who are members of the new group Friends of Tompkins Square Park.
The tree lighting was organized by the Tompkins Square Park Neighborhood Coalition, East Village Parks Conservancy and Third Street Music School Settlement, with support from the Friends of Tompkins Square Park.