Seddio holiday tradition brightens Flatlands Avenue

Dozens showed up to watch Frank Seddio flip the switch on his annual holiday house display on Flatlands Avenue on Sunday.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

A 48-year-old Canarsie holiday tradition went blue this year when the Smurfs made their dazzling debut in front of Frank Seddio’s holiday-decorated home.

Hundreds of residents gathered in front of the home on Flatlands Avenue to see the display — a heartwarming, $300,000 slice of Yuletide kitsch — on Sunday as Seddio asked Mary Salogub, the mother of Canarsie civic activist John Salogub, who died earlier this year, to press the button that illuminated its 50,000 twinkling lights and 100 animated characters, including fan favorite “Stumpy,” the talking Christmas tree.

New to the display were a set of skating Smurfs and an animatronic wisecracking parrot.

The holiday spectacle near E. 93rd Street can be seen from blocks around and the 12-foot wreath that traditionally crowns the roof can actually “be seen by airplanes landing on Kennedy Airport,” Seddio said.

“The weather was beautiful [for our unveiling] and the entire street was packed,” explained Seddio, who gave out more than 1,000 candy canes to kids brimming with the holiday spirit.

“We’ve worked on this house every weekend for six weeks and Sunday we found out why we did it — for the hundreds of people that will be walking by here every night.”

The former assemblyman and surrogate court judge — and his elves — have decked the halls since 1986, continuing a tradition started in 1963 by the home’s previous owner, Frank Guarino.

There’s a lot of elbow grease involved in putting together the display, whose bells and whistles fill two garages and a basement when taken down on Jan. 6, but the faces of those who see the display make it far from a chore, he explained.

“If you come and look at the faces of the kids watching the display, you’ll see why I’ve been doing this for so long,” he said.

Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at ttracy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2525.

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