Freezing rain and snow could not keep spectators from coming out on December 5 to celebrate the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony presented by Woodside On The Move.
Poor conditions caused the event to be moved from Sohncke Square Park at 58th Street between Roosevelt and Woodside Avenues to St. Sebastian’s school auditorium. Children and adults were told to imagine the tree lighting in their minds.
In the past several years, Christmas trees planted in the area have not survived. According to professionals from the agricultural department at Columbia University and the city Department of Parks and Recreation, the trees died because of pollution and other contributing factors. The new tree is a Japanese Yew that can withstand the stresses of an urban environment. Monsignor Michael Haridman, pastor of St. Sebastian, blessed the tree.
Choirs from St. Sebastian and P.S. 11 and P.S. 152 performed Christmas songs while visitors drank hot chocolate and ate homemade cookies. Santa Claus dropped in for a visit and handed out holiday presents.