The Central Park Conservancy, the organization that helps maintain Manhattan’s largest park, will host its 21st annual holiday lighting ceremony Thursday.
Central Park’s ceremony comes a day after the gigantic Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center is lit, but the event will be a much more low-key way to get into the holiday season. The event will be great for families, and kids will even score a chance to meet Santa reports Patch.
The holiday lighting will also feature a live ice carving demonstration, Christmas caroling on the Central Park Plaza and free hot cocoa and cookies (while they last), according to the New York Parks Department website here.
But the main draw will, of course, be the moment the light switch is flipped. Much like the park’s Halloween Festivities, the main event will take place on the Harlem Meer. A flotilla of Christmas trees will be stationed on the surface of the water and will be lit between 6-6:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Parks Department website here.
The Central Park holiday lighting ceremony will occur rain, snow or shine and is a free event.
The ceremony starts at 5:30 p.m. with a meet and greet with Santa at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in the northeast corner of Central Park. The most convenient entrance to the park will be at 110th Street between Lenox Avenue and Fifth Avenues (check out the map here).
Photo: By Sharon Cuff.