Winter at Bryant Park: The Tree Lighting
“While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.” ~ Tom Allen
If you read my blog, you know how much I love Bryant Park. I have mentioned at least half a dozen times and you can be sure I will be mentioning it another half dozen. Every year they turn it into a winter wonderland known as the Winter Village at Bryant Park. With shops, an ice rink, and outdoor bars and cafes. They also have shows, lessons, and all sorts of revelry weekly, if not daily. It is a Who-Ville delight amongst the hustle and bustle of a city renowned for its Christmas displays.
Every year, they do a kick off extravaganza beginning with a spectacular show featuring Winter Village ambassador and Olympian Johnny Weir, Olympians Javier Fernandez, Kimmie Meisner, Kaitlin Weaver and Andrew Poje, and the Haydenettes. Performing a new Skate-tacular Christmas story which was a little bit Nutcracker and little bit the Night Before Christmas narrated by Dancing with the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba with music performed by Lapis Luna, it showcased a stunning display of artistry, passion, and athleticism. In a nutcracker shell, it is everything I love about skating combined with the magic of the season in a city I adore. It also had the added benefit of supporting the (Red) Campaign which fights AIDS in Africa.
It didn’t end there. While Rockefeller draws bigger crowds and maybe more star studded celebs, Bryant Park knows how to light a tree. At the end of the forty-five minute show, which went by so quickly and I had already been there for over an hour to get a prime spot, they lit the tree in a fiery display of lights and fireworks.
It was the perfect example of why I love Bryant Park and the Winter Village so much. While it was filled with people, it was quieter and much more New York then anything Rock Center can give us. It wasn’t just filled with tourists but actual New Yorkers who dared venture out and perhaps do something that could be considered kind of touristy. It also combines New York staples, alcohol, shopping, and basking in the city lights.
It was an incredible way to spend a Friday night and to kick off, officially, the Holiday season at Bryant Park. If you are in the neighborhood or are just feeling Christmasy, pay a visit to the Winter Village. It might be quieter and less extravagant, but hey you will at least keep your sanity in the process.
Do you go to any annual tree lightings?