MANHATTAN (PIX11) — It is perhaps the biggest block party New York City has ever thrown.

Reynaldo Rivera of the Salvation Army led a huge holiday block party in the middle of Fifth Avenue and 50th Street on the first Sunday in December. It’s the first time ever that city officials have closed a nine-block stretch of Fifth Avenue right near the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to provide a one-of-a-kind holiday experience for families, shoppers, and tourists.

“There is a certain holiday magic that can only be found on Fifth Avenue,” Ed Hogan, board chair of Fifth Avenue Association, said at a news conference. “This has never been done before, to close down this storied street during the holidays.

Sunday was the first of three Sundays in December before Christmas Day that Fifth Avenue from 48th Street to 57th Street will be closed to all vehicular traffic and turned into a huge pedestrian-only promenade from noon to 6 p.m. Tourists and locals seemed to love it, even if drivers did not.

“This is great,” Candy Adams, a tourist from Mississippi, told PIX11 News. “It’s really wonderful.”

Cab driver Peter Odin wasn’t happy.

“Traffic is real bad. Traffic jams everywhere. We can’t move,” Odin, a yellow taxi driver told PIX11 News. 

Buses along Fifth Avenue had to be re-routed for six hours.

“The impact on bus riders is regrettable and we plan to return to the city this week to ask again for a solution that allows buses to continue down Fifth Avenue during the holidays in dedicated lanes that reduce travel time and inconvenience for New Yorkers,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

Not all people driving in the area were unhappy.

“I think it’s great. I drove in, but parked 10 blocks away,” Debbie Cruz, a New Yorker, told PIX11 News. “It’s only three Sundays, so don’t drive your car.”