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French Christmas Market Brings Holiday Spirit to One Bowling Green

December 13, 2019

Visitors tour the Marché de Noël de Strasbourg-Alsace Dec. 5 at One Bowling Green.
Visitors tour the Marché de Noël de Strasbourg-Alsace Dec. 5 at One Bowling Green.

By Amanda Smith

NEW YORK - The U.S. General Services Administration’s Northeast and Caribbean Region helped usher in the holiday season with a ceremonial tree lighting and the inaugural opening of the Marché de Noël de Strasbourg-Alsace on Thursday, December 5 at One Bowling Green Plaza in Lower Manhattan.

In the shadow of the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, the Marché de Noël de Strasbourg-Alsace, Europe’s oldest holiday market founded in 1570, officially opened its doors in New York City. Consisting of over 30 authentic chalets imported from France, the market features eclectic handcrafted products and artisanal foods native to the Alsace region of France.

Kicking off the evening’s festivities were the Ambassador of France to the United States, Philippe Etienne and President of the Regional Tourism Board of the Grand Est Marie-Reine Fischer, who welcomed patrons to the ceremony and affirmed the importance of bringing the market to New York City.

“As part of our ambition to raise the profile of Alsace in the world, and to position it on the most important international stage, the Regional Tourism Board of the Grand Est has chosen to highlight the magical spirit of Christmas that has been such an important component in the hidden entity of our region for centuries,” Fischer said. “We are so grateful to be here!”

GSA Regional Administrator John A. Sarcone III joins Marie-Reine Fischer, President of the Regional Tourism Board form the Grand Est, Anne-Claire Legendre, Consul General of France in New York, and Philippe Etienne, the Ambassador of France in the United States, for a photo after illuminating the holiday tree during the opening of the Marché de Noël de Strasbourg-Alsace Dec. 5.
GSA Regional Administrator John A. Sarcone III joins Marie-Reine Fischer, President of the Regional Tourism Board form the Grand Est, Anne-Claire Legendre, Consul General of France in New York, and Philippe Etienne, the Ambassador of France in the United States, for a photo after illuminating the holiday tree during the opening of the Marché de Noël de Strasbourg-Alsace Dec. 5.

GSA Regional Administrator John A. Sarcone, III joined Ambassador Etienne, Ms. Fischer and President of the Bowling Green Association, Arthur Piccolo as the dignitaries addressed the crowd. Mr. Sarcone spoke of the long-standing history and friendship between France and the United States, and the significance of the event taking place next to the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House.

“Alexander Hamilton was our nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury and - like many of the founding fathers - a close personal friend of the comrade-in-arms of the French Marquis de Lafayette,” Sarcone said. “Lafayette’s contributions during the American Revolutionary War helped to forge the enduring friendship between France and the United States. It is thus a friendship as old as the United States, itself. In all that time — through every shared sacrifice of war and bounty of peace — this friendship between our two nations has never broken.”

Following the remarks, children from the Lycée Français de New York Children’s Choir led the countdown to lighting the holiday tree and serenaded the crowd with renditions of traditional carols. Visitors also had the opportunity to tour the various vendors and sample French culinary dishes from the region.

The Marché de Noël de Strasbourg-Alsace is open to the public for the holiday season until December 22 at One Bowling Green Plaza.

Last Reviewed: 2020-04-09