FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 06, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG HOSTS 91st ANNUAL HOLIDAY TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY IN CITY HALL PARK
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the cast of "An American Girls Holiday Celebration" tonight lit the City Hall Holiday Tree in City Hall Park. The tradition began on December 24, 1913, when acting Mayor Ardolph Kline invited a young boy to help him light the first Christmas tree at City Hall. During this year's ceremony, attendees sipped hot chocolate and coffee while the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Youth Choir provided musical entertainment. Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, and NYCHA Chairman Tino Hernandez also attended the tree lighting ceremony.
"There is no better place to be during the holiday season than New York City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Whether you are visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center, enjoying the decorations and window displays while shopping or ice skating, the City offers countless opportunities to enjoy the holidays. New Yorkers have a lot to be thankful for: our City is safe, strong and prosperous, and I want to wish all New Yorkers a Happy Holiday season."
The Department of Parks & Recreation designed the festive display of plantings in the Mould Fountain of City Hall Park. New Yorkers can enjoy a selection of winter plants decorating the fountain, including dogwood, juniper, spruce (known as Christmas trees), and bittersweet branches from Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan. Over 600 ornaments hang from the display, created by students from downtown schools P.S. 1, P.S. 42, and P.S. 234, and children participating in free after school programs at the Parks Department's Recreation Centers. White lights brighten up the display and boughs adorn light poles and the entrance to City Hall. Parks & Recreation's team for the display included Manhattan Chief of Operations Namshik Yoon, Deputy Chiefs of Operations Margaret Peeler and Larry Scoones, Manhattan Chief of Forestry Bill Steyer, Parks Manager Danny Mercado, and Gardener Richard Haugland.
Target donated $50,000 for decoration and lighting for the tree in City Hall Park as well as for tree lightings in Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, Jackson Square in the West Village in Manhattan, and Brooklyn Borough Hall, which will be in place through February. Miller's Skytracking and Premiere Services once again donated a skytracker to light up in the evening sky throughout the event. Refreshments for attendees were generously donated by Starbucks.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Warner Johnston (Parks and Recreation)
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