Coney Island got into the holiday spirit on Weds., Nov. 28 as it reveled in a special ceremony for the unveiling of magnificent holiday lights along Mermaid Avenue, one of the nabe’s crucial commercial strips.
The ceremony, which included caroling, hot chocolate and guest appearances from local politicians, saw the lighting of a mile-long stretch of Mermaid Avenue from Stillwell Avenue to West 33rd Street.
The ceremony was co-sponsored by the Alliance for Coney Island and Councilmember Mark Treyger, while the lights themselves were made possible by a $20,000 donation from the Arker Companies, a family-owned real estate company focused on building affordable housing.
This is the first time Mermaid Avenue has been illuminated for the holiday in two decades.
“The holidays are a time to reflect on the role community plays in all our lives, which is why we are so happy to make this contribution to brighten up the Mermaid Avenue area,” added Alex Arker, principal at Arker Companies. “We are delighted to pitch in to bring back this beloved, long lost neighborhood tradition of lighting up Coney Island’s main retail corridor.”
Treyger, as well as newly-elected Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus, were on hand for the historic lighting.
“We’re shining a whole new light on the holiday season in Coney Island,” Treyger told this paper. “I am extremely proud to have partnered with the Alliance for Coney Island to secure the funding that brings holiday lighting back to Mermaid Avenue for the first time in decades. It was heartwarming to see so many community members gathered together to see these lights shine bright for the first time.”