DYKER HEIGHTS — Dyker lights, the world-famous display of eye-popping, over-the-top Christmas decorations, is certainly living up to its billing this year!
Just ask any one of the thousands of tourists flocking to the Southwest Brooklyn neighborhood to take in the sights and sounds of the holiday season.
Or ask Fran Vella-Marrone, president of the Dyker Heights Civic Association, who has enjoyed the show for many years and still gets a big kick out of it.
“The Christmas lights in Dyker Heights are like no other,” she told the Home Reporter on Tuesday. “They are recognized not only citywide and nationwide, but worldwide. And they get more and more beautiful each year.”
Dyker lights features dozens of homes throughout the community whose owners hire creative decorators to turn their front lawns into spectacular Winter Wonderlands filled with thousands of twinkling lights with enough electricity to power a small city.
Along with the flashing lights and the holiday music, homes are decorated with giant Santas waving hello to the crowds, dancing reindeer, enormous “Nutcracker Suite” figures, large snowflakes and peaceful-looking angels.
The event attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, including tourists who come from thousands of miles away. People arrive on foot, in cars and in tour buses to see the sites.
The prime viewing area, where you can see the most spectacular homes, is located between 10th Avenue and 13th Avenue, from 80th Street to 86th Street.
The holiday light displays go up on or around Thanksgiving and remain up until New Year’s Day.
Dyker lights is a tradition dating back more than three decades. But in recent years, it has grown so popular that tour operators offer private jaunts through the neighborhood for prices as high as $399.
To handle the crush of visitors and the traffic jams, the NYPD has assigned additional traffic cops to the neighborhood.
In an effort to reduce litter and ease the traffic congestion, Councilmember Justin Brannan sponsored a bill to ban food vendors from parking their trucks and selling their wares in the prime viewing area. The bill was approved by the City Council last month.
The Home Reporter recently reported, however, that vendors have found a loophole in the law by hiring military veterans to work on their food trucks.
Disabled veterans are exempt from certain city restrictions governing sidewalk vendors.
Still, local officials said the law has made a difference and that there are fewer vendors hogging the streets this year.
It’s a safe bet that Dyker lights will continue to draw large crowds of enthusiastic admirers all the way through the New Year’s holiday.
Vella-Marrone said she hopes visitors enjoy the beauty of the community.
“Dyker Heights is a diamond in the rough that becomes a more precious gem each year,” she said.