Rumors that he’d been
‘canceled’ in Soho and
Hudson Square were
BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Friday night, Dec. 10, Soho and Hudson Square
neighbors mingled at the small plaza near Prince
and 6th Ave. in anticipation. While quiet rumors
had whispered, “Santa has been cancelled!” It just
At 5:30 sharp, the ladder fi re truck drove from
Houston Street, down 6th Ave. making a U-turn, to
timely deliver Santa in front of Father Fagan Park.
Al Di Raffaele, whose upper fl oor apartment looks
directly down on the park, was inspired three years
back to organize a neighborhood holiday fete including
bringing a tree into the park to light. Parks Department
gets in on the act providing the tree, lights,
and electrical hook-up.
The neighborhood’s local fi rehouse, so integral
with the community, provides Santa and his transportation—
his third annual tree lighting went on
without a hitch. Scaled back last year due to COVID,
the lighting ceremony was live-streamed
The original Santa from three years ago, Lt. Tom
Breslin, who is retiring after 20 years, revived his
role. “Last year, we had someone else, to break him
in.” Lt. Tom said. “But I knew this would be my last
year, so I was Santa this year,” he added, grinning.
When asked: Where does the Santa suit live? Lt.
Tom said, “In the fi rehouse. We have a party for the
fi refi ghters and their families before Christmas and
Santa will be there too.”
At the Father Fagan Park fete, Santa gave candy
canes to the children.
Smoozing on a seasonably warm evening, neighbors
sipped delicious hot chocolate, so happy to be
able to socialize again.
PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY
top right) Santa arrived
at Father Fagan Park
via fi retruck on Friday
evening. Santa, supplied
by local fi rehouse H&L 5
(Houston & 6th Avenue)
next to a faux switch
to light the tree. Santa
dolling out candy canes
to eager fans. Showtime
Singers practicing their
medley of Christmas
favorites that they’ll
sing at the tree lighting
ceremony. The crew from
H&L 5 with Santa.
18 December 16, 2021 Schneps Media