Dec. 1, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
The Skillman Holiday Lights Festival is returning on Saturday, with a lighting ceremony featuring live music, an appearance from Santa Clause, and other family activities planned for the avenue.
The event will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. through 51st Street down to 46th Street on Skillman Avenue, where attendees can see interactive crafts and exhibits, listen to live music from local artists, and see a performance by the Titan Theatre Company.
Highlights for Saturday’s event include Santa’s Grotto on 49th Street where children and families can visit Santa Claus from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m, and a dog parade brought by Skillman Pets, set to take off at 5 p.m. from 50th Street.
The Sunnyside Artists will present works at 5 p.m. on 49th Street, and a Tae Kwon Do performance from Hugo’s Tae Kwon Do will also take place at the same time on 51st Street.
Other activities include face painting, children’s storytime, and a pop-up library. A food and toy drive will also take place through the night. And like in previous years, Aubergine Cafe will be providing free hot chocolate during the festival.
Then, at 6 p.m. the tree lighting ceremony will take place at the Sunnyside Reform Church, located at 48-03 Skillman Ave.
The event, hosted by Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, was organized by the Skillman Project, the local group that brought new holiday designs to the avenue in their inaugural festival launch last year. Hundreds of people have attended the event over the years.
Lights on Skillman Avenue have been a tradition since 2010, when Van Bramer and the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce brought the snowflake-shaped lights along the avenue to bolster holiday spirit in a major neighborhood throughway.
For more information, visit the Skillman Project’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile in Woodside, the non-profit organization Woodside on the Move will be hosting a tree lighting ceremony of their own at 6 p.m. at Sohncke Square Park on 58th St. between Roosevelt Ave. and Woodside Ave.
A public raffle will be held with prizes including a 50″ screen television provided by Matthijssen Business Sysytems, $50 gift certificates and dinner for two at NOMA Paellas & Mofongos House.
Similarly, free hot chocolate will be served and Santa Clause will make an appearance.
Funds from the raffle will go towards supporting a range of community services provided by the non-profit.