A seasonably cool evening welcomed Soho denizens assembled at the little wedge park they call their own, Father Fagan Park.
Sustained by hot chocolate and ginger cookies (thank you take-out joint Olives) and oatmeal cookies baked by neighbor Richard Blodgett, neighbors gathered in anticipation.
On cue, Santa arrived from the nearby 6th Ave. firehouse and with a ho-ho-ho, Santa descended from his Hook and Ladder 5 sleigh. Firefighters from the truck joined in the celebration. Santa oversaw the lighting of the tree and as is tradition, handed out candy canes to all the children.
The park is named for Father Fagan who helped rescue two other Fathers in a 1938 rectory fire on Thompson Street and who died from injuries he sustained.
The park also commemorates three firefighters of Ladder Company 5 and Engine Company 24 – Captain John J. Drennan and Firefighters James F. Young and Christopher J. Siedenburg – who responded to a fire at 62 Watts Street on the night of March 28, 1994 and died instantly or shortly thereafter as a result of being trapped by the flames.
Conceived by neighbor Al Di Raffaele with the collaboration of Parks, it is with such joy and respect that the neighborhood shares this now annual Christmas tree lighting tradition with the local firehouse.