The annual Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting at the Hendrick I. Lott House, a New York City Landmark historic farmhouse, kicked off the holiday season on Friday, December 2nd.
The event featured a hot cocoa stand, festive lights, two mounted police officers and, of course, the lighting of the Christmas tree in the house’s front yard. Kids took turns feeding the horses carrots and petting them, while parents bought handmade wreaths.
Crowds of local families with young children turned out to enjoy the celebration and to take photos with Sinterklaas, the Dutch Santa Claus based on Saint Nicholas.
“It’s a nice community event,” said Alyssa Loorya, vice president of Friends of the Lott House, the organization that maintains the house. “Who doesn’t love a little bit of holiday magic?”
Visitors waited on long lines to have their children pose with Sinterklaas in front of the lighted tree, before grabbing some hot chocolate, sugar cookies and candy canes from the refreshment table. Kids were also given small gifts from Sinterklaas, such as coloring books.
“This is a great event,” Community Board 18 District Manager Sue Ann Partnow said. “I just want to wish all of you a happy and, most of all, healthy holiday season. Always keep light in your life; that’s the most important thing.”
Greg Borruso, president of the 63rd Precinct Community Council, emceed the event, while Friends of the Lott House members manned the refreshment stand, the donations table and the wreath station.
“I want people to be able to learn a little bit about history, enjoy the house, to come together as community,” Loorya, a lifelong Marine Park resident, said. “For me, all aspects of [this event] are great, but I really do love that we have the horses and I get to feed them carrots.”