Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, former Kings County Democratic Chairman Frank Seddio hosted his annual holiday house-lighting ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 6 and also paid tribute to a close friend who died due to the coronavirus.
In addition to the lighting at the corner of Flatlands Avenue and East 93rd Street, the local famous home will be featured on the ABC show “The Great Christmas Light Fight.” Families across the country decorate their homes, with the winner receiving a cash prize and the Light Fight trophy.
Seddio is excited for friends and family to see the show, which was filmed last year and is scheduled to air on Wednesday, Dec.23.
“We don’t yet know if we won the contest, but it was really an exciting thing to do to work with a film crew following us around as we put up the display,” he said. “They came from the very beginning before anything started and continued to put it up.”
Seddio and family started work on the house at the end of October. His nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, friends, and local Assemblymember Jaime Williams and her daughter volunteer every year to help with the home.
He admitted that he had mixed feelings about doing the Christmas display because of coronavirus and the sadness of so many people that he knew died.
“I know at least 23 people who died because of this virus,” Seddio said.”We weren’t sure we were going to do it but when I sat with my family to discuss it, we agreed we’d do it.”
He also paid tribute to local community activist Frank Scollo, who was the owner of Pizza D’ Amore and who died due to COVID-19.
“Frank was a personal friend,” Seddio said. “I was with him on the Saturday before he died. We were together at his restaurant. On Wednesday, he went to the hospital, and that Sunday, he died. He died on March 21. It was a very tearful thing but they were thrilled we did something to honor in his memory.
Scollo’s grandchildren performed the actual lighting.
Around 100 people were there, and they observed social distancing. The street was closed. The event was modified from previous years, as it didn’t include one room in which people normally stand together.
“We didn’t want to take that chance,” he said. “Other than that, we have our normal display up, and we are really proud of the way it came out. It’s exciting to see all of the pieces come together into one really beautiful display.”