It was feeling a lot like Christmas as the lights came on, the evening of Sunday, December 8, at the Victorian home at the intersection of Flatlands Avenue and East 93rd Street in Canarsie, in an instant creating a grand spectacle that will illuminate the corner until the New Year.
And, a spectacle it is. With some 500,000 lights and approximately 100 animated figures, the display – the creation of the Seddio family – features a cast of beloved characters, from Stumpy the talking Christmas tree to a pondful of skating Smurfs to the Winter Wizard, who recites “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”
“I like everything about it, Christmas is my favorite time of the year,” Kings County Democratic Chair Frank Seddio, who oversees the display, told this paper. “But the most rewarding experience for me is watching a five-year-old watching the display, entirely in awe.”
For opening night, the animatronic was augmented with the living, as local residents performed for the crowd that gathered at the corner despite persistent snow flurries. Among those who took the stage were the Public School 115 chorus, the choir from Mary Queen of Heaven Church and Pan Fusion Steel Band. And, of course, Santa was also on hand, to greet children eager to share their holiday wishes.
In addition, the display was dedicated to the memory of two Canarsiens — Charles Rogers, the longtime managing editor of the Canarsie Courier, and John Ezimoha, a past Grand Knight of the St. Pius X Council of the Knights of Columbus — who died this year.
While the tradition dates back to 1963, it has grown year after year. New this year is a zeppelin that crosses the sky above the display.