Lights Out For Our 5th Avenue Christmas Tree After Vandal Snuffs Out Power

5th Avenue Christmas tree
Photo via theotherfifth

This is not what we should be reporting on. This is not the way a year ought to end.

Certainly not for the active and very engaged Park Slope 5th Avenue BID. Certainly not for the merchants on 5th Avenue.

Certainly not for this neighborhood.

On Monday, 5th Avenue BID Executive Director Mark Caserta discovered that a vandal had cut electrical power to the Christmas tree, as reported by DNAinfo.

The 20-foot-high tree was lit on Saturday, November 28 at a tree-lighting ceremony as part of a big holiday and local business celebration — High 5 for the Holidays from the Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District.

Caserta told DNAinfo that a police report has been filed, and surveillance camera archives are being searched for possible leads. Right now, the vandal has not been located.

5th Avenue Christmas Tree
Photo via theotherfifth

The tree will not be re-lit. “The power source is the light pole. It’s just a lot of work for just a few days,” says Caserta. “Beyond buying new lights, it would take the lighting contractor to send two bucket trucks and four men to spend at least four hours to do the job. That’s too much for just a few days left in the season.”

In addition to being the co-owner of South Pub (629 5th Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets) and co-founder of South Brooklyn Shakespeare, Paul Molnar is President of Commercial Tenants for the 5th Avenue BID. He expressed his frustration with the vandalism.

“Who knows who did it or why but you would hope that people would at least have some respect for things that make the community better,” says Molnar. “We had to change the way we did the menorah lighting because people were messing with that as well. I hope it was kids, but who knows. As a bar owner I have also seen some drunk adults do some pretty unbelievable things…”

Amelia Robinson — who may be better known to you as the talented Mil’s Trills — is both on the 5th Avenue BID Board of Directors as well as a concerned neighbor. “It’s a disgrace and disappointing that someone would do that…but at least the tree is still up there,” she says. “I think our community’s holiday spirit is strong enough to withstand a momentary glitch like this!”

While we’ll have to wait a year for another tree-lighting, this is an opportunity to express our appreciation for the work done by the Park Slope 5th Avenue Business Improvement District.

Should you have any information concerning this incident, you can call 718-551-5545 or email


Sign in or become a Bklyner member to join the conversation.