Community Board 10 has issued a plea to those Dyker Heights homeowners who celebrate the holiday season by erecting the colorful, elaborate, over-the-top Christmas decorations in front of their houses that have become a hot tourist attraction.
“Please time all displays to turn off at midnight,” Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann wrote in a list of recommendations to homeowners.
The request that homeowners install a self-imposed curfew is just one of the recommendations that can be found in the board’s December newsletter.
The recommendations also include tips for visitors on how they can make the Dyker Heights Christmas lights show better for everyone. Among other things, the board is asking visitors to respect private property, avoid littering and not to block driveways.
Homeowners are being asked to refrain from using amplified DJ music and not to rent out their driveways to food vendors.”Please do not vend food from your home or the street. Any sale of food to the public requires a permit from the New York City Department of Health,” Beckmann wrote in the newsletter.
The community board has been working with the Dyker Heights Civic Association and city agencies to bring a sense of order to the chaos that in previous years has accompanied the neighborhood’s Christmas lights spectacular.
The newsletter tips are part of the overall effort.
“We are reaching out to neighbors, tour companies and vendors in advance of this year’s season in the spirit of community cooperation so that all can enjoy the splendor of the season safely. We appreciate your help in his effort,” Beckmann wrote.
The Dyker Heights Christmas Lights display is an extravaganza put on by scores of homeowners in an area running from 10th Avenue to 13th Avenue and from 82nd Street to 86th Street who erect giant Santas, dancing reindeer, enormous “Nutcracker Suite” figures, illuminated snowflakes, moving angels and other elaborate decorations in front of their homes and play pre-recorded Christmas carols from sophisticated sound systems.
To say it has become popular is an understatement.
Thousands of people come to Dyker Heights each holiday season to see the lights. Tourists from as far away as Boston board buses to take the trek to Brooklyn to enjoy the show. Hotels in midtown Manhattan advertise the Christmas lights display to their guests, a sure sign that the Southwest Brooklyn event has hit the big time.
But the Christmas season extravaganza isn’t fun for everyone, according to officials from Board 10 and Dyker Civic.
Aside from the hordes of tourists clogging the sidewalks and dropping litter everywhere, the constant flow of traffic often prevents local residents from getting their cars out of their driveways, officials said.
The civic association is advocating for a safety plan that would include traffic enforcement to keep the tour buses and private cars moving and would also have enforcement by the Department of Health to crack down on unlicensed vendors selling cider and hot chocolate on the streets.