Winter wonder land: Why are holiday lights already up on Fifth Avenue?

Winter wonder land: Why are holiday lights already up on Fifth Avenue?
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

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

The holiday decorations are up on Fifth Avenue — more than a week before Halloween and two months before Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa begin.

And the move has Ridgites puzzled over whether to fill their cauldrons with candy or stuff their stockings with gifts, said one resident.

“I just did pumpkin carving with my kid and it’s already snowing on Fifth Avenue,” said Bay Ridge resident Joe Balducci. “I said to myself, ‘What the heck? What month is it?’ Every year the decorations come earlier and earlier. The stores haul out the Halloween candy in September and the Christmas decorations in October. I’m gonna start buying Valentine’s chocolate in December at this rate.”

The Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District paid Williamsburg-headquartered Illuminations by Arnold to put up the decorations. Only a few companies citywide have contracts to hang garland, wreaths, and lights on city blocks, so they have to get started early in order to finish decking the halls by late December, the merchant group’s head said.

“It’s early, but the contractor has to do what he has to do to get them all up in time for the holidays,” said business improvement district president Jim Clark. “They serve the majority of the city, so they have to a get a head start.”

The Avenue won’t light up until after Thanksgiving, but the early cheer is a welcome sight for some.

“I’m super into Christmas, so I like it when I see the lights up early,” said Dyker Heights resident Martha Walsh. “That tells me, ‘Get ready the holidays are almost here.’ ”

Others found humor in the fact that Fifth Avenue is sprinkled with snowflakes even though — on Oct. 22 — the mercury had yet to drop.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspiv[email protected]nglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Happy holidays, already?: Deyvid Bautista, clad in shorts and a T-shirt, finds it hilarious that holiday decorations are up on Fifth Avenue before Halloween.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto