Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman to rappel down Stamford building with Santa; organizers expect ‘good crowd’ at annual event

STAMFORD — Residents will be able to watch Santa Claus and others rappel down the Landmark building in person next month after the time-honored event was held without a live audience last year because of COVID-19.

“Heights and Lights” was filmed without a crowd present and then broadcast on the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network in late 2020.

“We felt, in consultation with public health officials, that we could prudently invite the crowd back together” this year, said David Kooris, the president of the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, which puts together the annual event that has drawn up to 5,000 people in the past.

“We’ve been monitoring the infection rates, like everybody has, and we’ve come down so significantly over the last month to a level where the mayor was comfortable lifting the mask mandate for indoor and outdoor events,” Kooris said.

Plus, Kooris said he hopes that by the first week of December, many children will have received at least their first COVID-19 vaccine shot.

“It seems like we’re at a position where the risk is much lower and, as families will continue to do, they’ll assess their own situation and decide whether or not they want to come out, but we’re confident that because of all those factors, there’ll be enough people who are willing and interested in coming out that we’ll have a good crowd,” he said.

The show, which is sponsored by Reckson, is set to start at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5. The viewing area will be at Broad and Bedford streets, Kooris said.

Brian Cashman, the New York Yankees’ general manager, will again be part of the group of performers who will ride over to Ferguson Library by zip line after rappelling down the 22-story Landmark building.

Once they are on the ground, they will walk to Latham Park for a tree lighting. Fireworks are also planned.