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The tradition of lighting trees on Park Avenue began seventy years ago when several Park Avenue families wanted a special way to honor those men and women who died in World War II. Today the illuminated trees – which appear on the Park Avenue Malls between 54th and 97th Streets – remain a symbol of peace and a reminder of the sacrifices made to attain it.
The trees are traditionally lit on the first Sunday evening of December following a ceremony outside the Brick Presbyterian Church (Park Avenue & 91st Street) that serves as a reminder of the original meaning of the lights and a celebration of the holiday season.
In the early days, the costs of the Tree Lighting were underwritten by just a few families but now this sparkling display is made possible each year by contributions The Fund for Park Avenue receives from the community.