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Little Italy Kicks-Off Christmas Promo

December 12, 2001, 12:00 AM EST

Mark Sonder Music's Holly Tones, dressed in traditional Dickensian costumes, performed Christmas carols at the Christmas in Little Italy festival on Mulberry Street. (Photo by Battman Studios)

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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