NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Christmas celebration returned to one Manhattan neighborhood Saturday night after last year’s holiday hiatus.

It was a festive time to ring in the season with friends and neighbors.

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“It’s really fun. I’m excited to get some hot cocoa,” 12-year-old Abby Shermer told CBS2’s Thalia Perez.

Hot cocoa certainly helped keep everyone warm. Dozens of people turned out for the tree lighting at West Harlem Piers Park on the Hudson River.

For 7-year-old Connor Paul, making Christmas tree ornaments was the draw.

“It’s supposed to be a snowman, not a gingerbread man,” he said. “I’m going to make a snowflake next.”

Some brought furry friends along to watch the lights on the tree go on.

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This event meant so much to people since the parks department canceled the celebration last year due to COVID.

“We were able to meet some neighbors that we were going to have at our apartment, and we thought this was better to do something outside, and it was festive and holiday,” Upper West Side resident Brian Foley said.

“I like being with people … I think it’s really nice as long as people are being safe about it,” Julie Wilson said.

“I think people are just glad to be out here. This event was really missed last year, so it’s been just very nice to go around and talk to people to hear what they’re saying,” another person said.

The tree will remain lit through the holiday season.

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CBS2’s Thalia Perez contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team