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Little Italy Kicks-Off Christmas Promo

December 12, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

Christmas in Little Italy promotional festival Little Italy, Mulberry Street between Canal and Broome Streets; Hester and Grand Streets between Mott and Baxter Streets Friday, 12.07.01, 6 PM onward
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The Christmas in Little Italy festival kicked off with Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Robert De Niro on hand for the lighting of a Christmas tree at 6 PM in a courtyard behind Mulberry Street. The festival, coordinated by the Little Italy Merchants Association with the support of NYC & Company, is an attempt to stimulate business in the lower Manhattan neighborhood, which has seen a drop in business since the September 11 attacks.

Mark Sonder Music's Holly Tones, dressed in traditional Dickensian costumes, performed Christmas carols atop a float, and the NYU Brass Ensemble played holiday tunes in the street, which was festooned with decorative holiday garlands and lights. And Santa--who's apparently slimmed down this year--rode a float strewn with Coca-Cola boxes (they were a sponsor of the festivities). The celebration will continue over the next three weekends with live music, parades and holiday meal deals from participating restaurants.

--Jill Musguire

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