It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … in October

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … in October
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — Halloween?

Most Brooklynites are just getting ready to trick-or-treat — but some of the borough’s commercial corridors are already decking the halls. Christmas decorations are up on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge and Sunset Park and along Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill two months and three Judeo-Christian-pagan holidays — counting Hanukkah — early. But the business groups that finance the festive lights say it is not about getting people to start their Yuletide shopping early.

The business improvement district representing stores along the Bay Ridge corridor — where snowflake lights are currently competing with banners proclaiming “Fall on Fifth” — said it contracts a private company to dress up the avenue for the Santa season and leaders of the group said that the decorators do not like stringing lights in the November climate.

“The answer is one word: weather,” said business improvement district president Jim Clark. “Once it gets cold and rainy, it gets very hard to put them up.”

But Clark said he still thinks the ornaments make a fun and festive addition to the thoroughfare — even in the middle of fall.

“It tells people that Christmas and the holidays are upon us,” said Clark, adding he was unable to recall if the lights had gone up this early in the past.

Some Christmas light contractors said that they start hauling out the holly around Halloween to make sure that they cover all the streets in the city before it’s too late.

“Customers wouldn’t get them up till later in December, or even after Christmas, if we didn’t start putting them up now,” said Brittney Migliaccio, a manager at the Bushwick-based Illuminations by Arnold, which has already suspended snowflakes over Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill.

Migliaccio said her company has only a few competitors — including the Bronx’s Christmas Lights and Decorating, which brightens up Fifth Avenue — and has to cover hundreds of blocks before the season to be jolly. She added that Illuminations does not plug in its festive frills until Thanksgiving.

Sunset Park is flying its winter holiday flag, too, but the neighborhood’s commerce group said that its lights go up any time between the last week of October and the middle of November, depending on when Illuminations gets to them.

“Whenever they get them up, they go up,” said the district’s director, Renee Giordano. “It’s where we are on the schedule.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Early snow: Holiday decorations have already gone up on Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge, “Fall on Fifth” banners notwithstanding.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham