Nov. 30, 2019 By Kristen Torres (UPDATED)
Sunnyside will be holding a celebration on the evening of Saturday, Dec. 7 to mark the unveiling of holiday lights on Skillman and 43rd Avenues. The event was initially scheduled for Monday, Dec. 2 but has been postponed due to poor weather.
The Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with the Skillman Project to bring festive holiday lights to Skillman Avenue and 43rd Avenue for the first time.
This is the first year that 43rd Avenue will have holiday lights. They were introduced to Skillman Avenue in 2010.
“We are proud to come together — residents, businesses, organizations — to bring joy to our children, and so pleased to include 43rd Avenue for the first time this year,” said Vanessa Ceballos, president of Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and owner of Firefly on 43rd Avenue.
The celebration Monday to mark the occasion will include a number of activities in what’s being referred to as the Winter Lights Festival.
Festivities will begin Saturday in front of the Food Universe Marketplace on the corner of 43rd Avenue and 44th Street at 5 p.m., with a small tree lighting in front of the supermarket. Holiday lights went up on 43rd Avenue earlier this month and go between 40th and 46th streets.
A performer on stilts will lead the crowd to the second part of the festival — at Skillman Avenue and 48th Street — around 6 p.m. for the main tree lighting ceremony in the courtyard of Sunnyside Reformed Church.
The holiday lights on Skillman Avenue are also up–between 41st and 52nd streets.
Refreshments, such as hot chocolate, will be available for attendees at both locations. Firefly and Aubergine will provide refreshments at both locations.
Attendees will have the chance to take photos with Santa and enjoy live entertainment, such as kid bands from Queens Music Academy and other local musicians. Roque Rodriguez of Sunnyside Yoga will be the emcee at both venues.
Guests can also participate in more than 50 raffle prizes from local businesses, including gift certificates, a widescreen TV and free yoga classes.
The raffles will help cover the cost of the lights. The lights cost about $26,500 and are being paid for by businesses, residents and community groups. About $16,500 has been raised so far.
SCHEDULE FOR DECEMBER 7
> First location: 44th Street & 43rd Ave., corner of Food Universe
> 5 p.m.: Roque emcee and carols on PA system, refreshments
> 5:30 p.m.: Lighting of small tree
> 5:45 p.m.: Carolers led by stilts artist to Skillman & 48th St. to second location
> Second location: 48th Street Skillman Ave location, corner of Sunnyside Reformed Church
> 6 p.m.: Kid bands from Queens Music Academy, refreshments
> 6:30 p.m.: One song by classical singer Julie Borst
> 6:40 p.m.: Lighting of big tree
> 6:45 p.m.: Santa due from North Pole
> Music program continues
> Song by Cathy Maguire, Irish country singer
> Three songs by Adriana Nunez
> Drummer Axel Barragon
> Three songs in Español
> 7 p.m.: Raffle drawing to begin and continue between musical sets.
> 8 p.m.: After party at The Globe