EAST VILLAGE — Legendary bakery Veniero’s Pasticceria will give out free butter cookies "the size of your hands" to mark its 120th anniversary in the East Village on Thursday.
The East 11th Street bakery will hand out about 340 cookies designed to celebrate two milestones: 120 years since the shop opened in its current location in 1894, and 120 years since the Third Street Music School Settlement opened in the neighborhood as well.
The cookies will feature the two groups' logos, as well as the words “Celebrating 120 Years 1894-2014," said Robert Zerilli, co-owner of Veniero's.
“They’re big cookies, the size of your hands,” Zerilli said.
The cookie giveaway will cap an afternoon of caroling festivities in the East Village.
About 150 to 200 students, faculty, alumni and parents from the Third Street Music School Settlement will gather in Union Square Park at 4 p.m. to kick off the caroling.
“We will be singing about Christmas, about Hanukkah and everything in between,” said Valerie Lewis, the school’s executive director.
The group plans to stop in seven locations, including the Con Edison headquarters at East 14th Street and Iriving Place, St. Mark’s Church at East 10th Street and Second Avenue and Veselka, located a block away, according to an event flier.
The carolers' final stop will be at Veniero's, where free cookies will accompany the songs.
The Third Street Music School Settlement originally opened on East Third Street, Lewis said, but moved to 235 E. 11th St., a block away from Veniero's, in 1974. The school offers music and dance classes to children and adults and also operates its own preschool.
Notable alumni include pop singer Ingrid Michaelson and Bobby Lopez, who co-wrote the Broadway musical "Avenue Q" and the song "Let It Go" from the Disney movie "Frozen," according to the school's website.
Veniero's, which was opened by Zerilli's great uncle Antonio Veniero, has stood in the same location for the past 120 years.
The bakery, which made cakes for Frank Sinatra and Liza Minelli, is known for its New York-style cheesecake, butter cookies and traditional Italian holiday cookies, which are only sold a few times a year.
Third Street Music School Settlement’s caroling event will take place Dec. 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. Click here for a map of the route and more information.