Santa Claus is comin’ to Downtown!

Santa ditched his sleigh for this elf-powered passenger bike for his meeting with kids at Washington Market Park.
Photo by Tequila Minsky

BY COLIN MIXSON

Santa visited Washington Market Park to meet some of his biggest fans, who lined up to have very serious conversations with the man in red before the big day, according to one organizer.

“There’s some intense looks when the kids talk to Santa,” said Pam Frederick. “One little girl gripped both of his hands, and was looking right in his eyes.”

Friends of Washington Market Park, a non-profit advocacy group for he Tribeca green space, has invited Kris Kringle to hang with the kids every year for more than a decade, although this year was made extra special thanks Mother Nature, which treated park patrons to the first now of the year on the day Santa arrived.

“It was snowing the whole time,” Frederick said. “It was awesome and it looked gorgeous.”

The weather also attracted families to the park who might otherwise have missed Mr. Claus’s visit to the neighborhood, according to Tribeca dad Vishal Garg, who was delighted by the unexpected banquet of cookies and hot chocolate they discovered there.

“It was terrific,” said Garg, who came with sons Nicky, 4, and Alex, 6. “We hadn’t even remembered the event was taking place. It was such a nice surprise.”

St. Nick ditched his sleigh this year for a passenger bike piloted by an unusually tall elf named Charlie Stuard, who gave Santa a lift from his New York City apartment on Harrison Street, where he prefers to stay during extended trips away from the North Pole to New York City.

Most kids got right to business laying out their Christmas wishes for Santa, but some tots of a certain age couldn’t quite handle all the holiday excitement, and a few tears were shed upon St. Nick’s flowing white beard, Frederick said.

“Santa often makes babies cry,” said the organizer. “The guy is all beard, but mostly they don’t want to be handed off to a stranger in a park.”

Photo by Tequila Minsky
Carolers regaled families with classic holiday tunes during Santa’s visit to Washington Market Park.

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