12/19/2007 AT 03:45 PM EST
Lindsay Lohan's dad, Michael, was getting into the holiday spirit on Tuesday night in Manhattan.
The recently paroled papa put in an appearance as Joseph in a live nativity scene (in a small park near Times Square) to help recognize firefighters who died on 9/11.
"It was heartwarming, but a cold night," Lohan told PEOPLE. "I was with some nice people." He was replaced in the manger after 6 p.m., but the festive scene continued, including a chorus of men and women from Project Dance singing traditional Christmas carols and three fake, life-sized sheep, as well as a Mary and baby Jesus.
– Diane Herbst and Karen Salkin