Nov. 14, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
A ceremony to ring in the holiday lights around Greenpoint Avenue and Queens Boulevard will take place next week in an event with musical performances and a visit from Santa.
The Sunnyside Shines Holiday Lighting Ceremony is set for Nov. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., just under the Sunnyside Arch on 46th Street and Queens Boulevard.
The free event will simultaneously light the holiday-themed fixtures along Greenpoint Avenue and Queens Boulevard, set within the bounds of the Sunnyside Business Improvement District. On Greenpoint Avenue, the lights will go through to the midway point between 42nd and 43rd Streets, and on Queens Boulevard, the lights will cover the length from 38th Street to 50th Street.
Under the Sunnyside Arch, a giant snowflake will be lit with the help of elected officials and community residents, who will also see a host of musical acts during the two-hour festivity, including the Sunnyside Youth Drum Corps, the Fabulous Fezziwig quarter of carolers, and the McManus Irish Dancers. Free hot chocolate and candy canes will be available through the event, along with an appearance from Santa Claus.
The arch will not be lit as part of the ceremony, as Sunnyside Shines is still working to find an appropriate contractor to repair the lights, an initiative that was announced in October.
A coupon book called the Shop Local Holiday Passport will also debut that day, with discounts listed for over 40 participating businesses in the area.
The Sunnyside Shines BID has held holiday lighting ceremonies for the lights along the two main stretches since 2009. The light fixtures are the same from the year prior, with snowflake designs, light patterns, and signs saying “Welcome to Sunnyside”. The fixtures are usually installed two weeks before the ceremony, and stay up through the new year, according to Jaime-Faye Bean, executive director of the BID.