Nov. 4, 2011 By Christian Murray
Preparations for the Skillman Ave. holiday lights began last night with the installation of white snowflakes.
The lights, which will go up on Skillman for just the second year, stem from a $9,500 city grant from councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. Last year, the inaugural year, the lights were extremely popular with business owners and residents. This year Van Bramer is likely to extend them into Woodside.
The next step will be the process of getting permits and electrical connection. The lighting ceremony is set for Thursday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 pm.
Rebecca Barker, the president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are very grateful to Jimmy for the holiday lighting.” She said that Dan Glasser of Stray Vintage, attorney Ira Greenberg and Lily Gavin of Dazies are on the “lights committee” for the chamber as it is a multi-step process to get them up.
Van Bramer credits Gary O’Neil for bringing the idea of holiday lighting to him originally, and once again has scheduled the lighting ceremony to take place at Gary and Catherine O’Neil’s Aubergine Café in Woodside, on Skillman at 51st Street.
Father Brian Dowd of Queen of Angels Church is making a donation to help extend the lighting down to 44th Street, and Al Volpe of Woodside and Glasser have worked with Van Bramer’s office in his effort to extend the snowflakes in both directions.
The Chamber said that producers of the “Rememberers” donated $1000 to the lighting effort and the Chamber is waiting to hear if Vantage Properties, who made a donation last year, will once again assist financially in the popular decorations.
The Chamber tree lighting at Sabba Park at 50th Street and Queens Blvd. will be Tuesday, November 29 with a inexpensive prix fixe afterward at Dazies Restaurant. Meanwhile, Sunnyside Shines is holding its holiday lighting ceremony on November 22, between 6 pm and 8 pm. Its lights will cover significant portions of Greenpoint Ave. and Queens Blvd. The ceremony will be located on Greenpoint, between 47th and 48th Streets.