By Matt Conti
The Friends of Christopher Columbus Park (FOCCP) kicked off the holiday season with their traditional annual lighting of the park’s signature trellises on Monday, November 21st. Local businesses and neighbors support the efforts of FOCCP, the all-volunteer neighborhood organization, to raise the funds needed to illuminate the trellis and 14 trees annually. Mayor Martin J. Walsh presided over the trellis lighting ceremony, along with Boston Parks Commissioner Chris Cook.
Santa Claus, Frosty and Rudolph the Reindeer welcomed attendees. Students and teachers of the North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) and Sharon Zee sang holiday songs. The Marriott Long Wharf Hotel, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Starbucks and Magic 106.7 provided refreshments and holiday treats.
“The Trellis Lighting Ceremony will be the culmination of our
year-long celebration of FOCCP’S 15th anniversary,” says FOCCP President Joanne Hayes-Rines. “Every year it is thrilling to watch the park transform into a winter wonderland when the trellis is illuminated, and we’re delighted that Mayor Walsh will throw the switch again this year.”
The Platinum Level corporate sponsors for this year’s trellis and tree lighting are CL Properties, NorthEndBoston.com and Sanibel Electrical Corporation. Sanibel Electrical has generously donated the cost of installation of the trellis lights. Gold Level sponsors are Boston Harbor Cruises, Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston PushCart, Capitol One, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, Marriott Long Wharf Boston, and Tia’s Waterfront.
“This year we celebrated our first 15 years by adding several special events to our regular event program, including yoga classes, a dance party and a very special 15th Anniversary Party,” says Hayes-Rines. “None of these events would have been possible without the generosity of our members, both private and corporate, in Boston and outside the city, who help us fund these efforts. We have been one of the most successful Friends groups to support a city park, and we truly appreciate everyone’s help and continued donations.”
The Friends of Christopher Columbus Park (FOCCP) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization comprised of North End and Waterfront neighbors whose purpose is to further the restoration, protection, preservation, care, enhancement, improvement, and maintenance of the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park. The FOCCP works closely with the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department to keep the park clean and well maintained, and with other city and state organizations to improve the park to enrich the lives of both residents and visitors to Boston.