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Christmas comes to Canarsie

Brooklyn Daily
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Lots of lights: The elaborate display includes more than 500,000 lights.
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Smile for Santa: Jonathan, Jack, and Jason Veletanga give their wish lists to Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
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Bright night: The colorful display is valued at more than $350,000.
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Christmas carols: PS 120 keeps the crowd entertained with festive holiday tunes.
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Decor galore: The Holiday Display had an array of different decorations.

Brooklyn Democratic boss Frank Seddio lit up the neighborhood on Dec. 7 with the annual holiday light display at his Canarsie home.

The colossal celebration featured diverse decorations for Christmas, Kwanza, and Hanukkah — and the elaborate exhibition was better than ever, according to Seddio, who said he does it all for the kids.

“It is a lot of work every year, but the smiles on the faces of the children makes it all worthwhile,” said Frank Seddio, chairman of the Kings County Democratic party. “This was the best of the 28 years we have done the display.”

The elaborate light show includes more than 500,000 lights and is valued at $350,000.

Every year, the holiday display is dedicated to a local leader, and this year’s recipient was the late Thomas Scalise, who passed away in February. Scalise’s daughter attended the event with her children, who flipped the switch that turned on the lights in their grandfather’s memory. She said her family was thrilled — though not surprised — that the community honored her father.

“It didn’t surprise any of us — my dad was just one of those people who was the pillar of the community,” said Nadine Veletanga, who added that the moment was bittersweet for her kids. “They’re still having a hard time, the fact he wasn’t here. But they know he was absolutely smiling down, knowing they pressed the button and had the lights come on.”

Aside from the lavish lights, the decorations include eight distinct holiday displays, including Santa’s workshop, a singing and story station, and a life-sized nativity scene with real animals. One parent said his children absolutely adored the nativity scene because it featured furry farm animals.

“This is the first year that we actually saw live animals at the Christmas lighting,” said Jean Mirville, who attends the holiday display every year with his children, Isaac and Isabella. “They love it — they play with llamas at the Prospect Park Zoo.”

Mirville said he especially enjoyed hearing community leaders bless the neighborhood because it was a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

“I also enjoyed the fact that we had different representatives that spoke,” he said. “The priest came and said a prayer for the city.”

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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