Christmas lights brighten Sheepshead Bay Road for first time in 15 years

Christmas lights brighten Sheepshead Bay Road for first time in 15 years
Photo by Jon Farina

Let there be light!

Strings of holiday lights are brightening up Sheepshead Bay Road and Emmons Avenue this season for the first time in at least 15 years. The seaside nabe is still rebuilding more than four years after Hurricane Sandy devastated many of its homes and storefronts, and the new holiday glow is a sign that the community is coming back stronger — and the future looks bright, said Assemblyman Steve Cymbrowitz (D–Sheepshead Bay), who helped fund the bulbs.

“It’s a terrific milestone for the Sheepshead Bay community,” he said. “We always knew we would come back stronger than ever after Hurricane Sandy. In addition to being beautiful, these holiday lights symbolize the sense of partnership and strength that we have as a community.”

The festive lights hanged above Sheepshead Bay Road for more than a decade, when a few local businesses — including the this paper — and Cymbrowitz’s office all chipped in to make them happen, according to Cymbrowitz. But that stopped 15 years ago, and the streets went dark for the holidays.

This year, about 20 local businesses, the Sheepshead Bay Merchants’ Association, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and the state legislator all pitched in to help pay for the $28,000 lights adorning the neighborhood’s shopping strips.

The extra dazzle helps attract more shoppers to neighborhood mom-and-pop businesses and livens the community, according to the president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re proud and thankful to be a part of the vibrant Sheepshead Bay business community,” said Carlo Scissura. “Due to the generosity of the local business community, these wonderful holiday lights will brighten the neighborhood for the first time in a decade.”

About 20 local Sheepshead Bay businesses joined the holiday spirit, including Jimmy’s Famous Heros, Opera Cafe Lounge, Il Fornetto, and Yiasou Estiatorio.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.