“We came here to make memories,” a bundled up visitor from Alabama breathed on leaving Washington Square Park on Christmas Eve. She and her New York friends took the E train from uptown to Christmas carols in the park.
Braving the bitter cold on Dec. 24, over 200 New Yorkers-at-large with Greenwich Village neighbors joined in this annual community singalong under the Arch. The Washington Square Association hosts the almost 100-year tradition of a holiday tree and related holiday activities. This event attracts children in the holiday mode, locals who love to sing, and adults with the fondest memories of Christmases past.
A distributed songbook of carols including words and music to over 25 favorites from “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “O Holy Night,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” helped those remember the words. Longer songs were abridged; the singing of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” for instance, started on Day 10.
The weather might have been brutal but the enthusiasm of the songsters kept them warm.
The Rob Susman Brass Quartet carried the tunes with singers that included Parks Enforcement Patrol PEP Officer Singers.