Owl’s Head Christmas tree lighting a hoot!

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Most wonderful time: Eight-year-old Shayla Torres sips hot chocolate at Owl’s Head Park on Dec. 2.
Singing Whippoorwill: Guild for Exceptional Children director and local songwriter Paul Cassone performs for the crowd.
Bright night: The Owl’s Head Park tree glitters in all its glory.
Jolly elf: Jasmin Bracero gives Santa her wish list.

It was a night of pure holiday bliss in Owl’s Head Park on Dec. 2.

The Owl’s Head Park Horticulture Group helped to make the season bright by lighting up the tree in front of the greenspace’s field house — with some help from neighbors, the Guild for Exceptional Children, the Fire Department, and a very special Christmas visitor.

Leaders of the organization — which helps maintain the park and its community garden beds — decked the evergreen with ornaments nearby residents donated, while the Guild’s 50-strong choir came out to serenade the gathered families. Partway through the festivities, Engine 241 dropped off Kris Kringle himself, who listened to the children’s wish lists and gave them bags of chips.

The group said it found the 200-plus crowd — considerably larger than last year’s — extremely encouraging, and reflective of its own growth.

“We had a lot of new faces this year,” said organizer Dave Matthews. “We’re trying to really get the ball rolling and get new volunteers all the time.”

The club handed out candy to the kids, and ladled out hot chocolate from the Bay Ridge Manor catering hall on 76th Street. The group also presented the organizers of the Guild choir with Christmas wreaths and poinsettias as an expression of gratitude.

“They’ve been so good to us, we wanted to show our appreciati­on,” said Matthews.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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