Santa sightings: Ol’ Saint Nick tours southern Brooklyn

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Santa’s helpers were popping up all over the place this weekend, sprucing up the neighborhood with fancy fir trees, holiday displays — and an overabundance of Christmas cheer.

Ol’ Saint Nick was certainly working overtime: visiting Canarsie, Bergen Beach and East Flatbush this weekend — where he attended holiday ceremonies at Paerdegat Park, the John Malone Community Center on Bergen Avenue, and MeadowWood at Gateway.

The jolly old elf’s festive frolic began on Friday evening as members of Community Board 17 hosted the annual Concert and Holiday Lighting Ceremony at Paerdegat Park on Foster Avenue near E. 40th Street.

CB 17’s Parks Committee put together a wide pallet of music for all tastes, stemming from heart-warming gospel classics to traditional Christmas carols.

“It was really a fun time,” explained Terry Hinds, CB 17’s chairman. “Many of the children in our community don’t have an opportunity to go to Rockefeller Center, so we decided to bring the experience to them.”

The experience, Hinds said, was well received.

“We had children dancing in the park, enjoying all the music, the free food and the presents,” he said. “It was truly a wonderful event.”

Friday’s holiday festivities continued at MeadowWood at Gateway on Flatlands Avenue, where dozens of people braced the crisp winter chill to welcome Santa to Flatlands Avenue, warming themselves with generous gulps of hot chocolate and some Yuletide cheer.

The winter wonderland ended on Saturday as scores of children showed up for Millennium Development’s ninth annual Winter Festival at the John Malone Community Center.

As chorus groups from PS 203 and PS 236 sang a medley of toe-tapping holiday tunes, kids decided to help Santa out by making an assortment of Christmas tree decorations.

Paul Curiale, executive director of Millennium Development, said that the joyous occasion was open to kids of all ages and families from all beliefs.

“Our Winter Festival brings a small-town feel to the big city,” said Curiale. “The ornament making and a special appearance by Santa made it a fun time for all.”

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