Winter wonder land: Why are holiday lights already up on Fifth Avenue?

The holidays come early: Snowflake banners and holiday decor went up on Fifth Avenue on Oct. 21 — more than a month before the holiday season is in full swing.
Brooklyn Paper
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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — in October.

The holiday decorations are up on Fifth Avenue — more than a week before Halloween and two months before Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa begin.

And the move has Ridgites puzzled over whether to fill their cauldrons with candy or stuff their stockings with gifts, said one resident.

“I just did pumpkin carving with my kid and it’s already snowing on Fifth Avenue,” said Bay Ridge resident Joe Balducci. “I said to myself, ‘What the heck? What month is it?’ Every year the decorations come earlier and earlier. The stores haul out the Halloween candy in September and the Christmas decorations in October. I’m gonna start buying Valentine’s chocolate in December at this rate.”

The Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District paid Williamsburg-headquartered Illuminations by Arnold to put up the decorations. Only a few companies citywide have contracts to hang garland, wreaths, and lights on city blocks, so they have to get started early in order to finish decking the halls by late December, the merchant group’s head said.

“It’s early, but the contractor has to do what he has to do to get them all up in time for the holidays,” said business improvement district president Jim Clark. “They serve the majority of the city, so they have to a get a head start.”

The Avenue won’t light up until after Thanksgiving, but the early cheer is a welcome sight for some.

“I’m super into Christmas, so I like it when I see the lights up early,” said Dyker Heights resident Martha Walsh. “That tells me, ‘Get ready the holidays are almost here.’ ”

Others found humor in the fact that Fifth Avenue is sprinkled with snowflakes even though — on Oct. 22 — the mercury had yet to drop.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sean F from Bensonhurst says:
Those aren't Christmas decorations. They are a Halloween costume. The business district is dressing up, hoping to score some candy.
Oct. 26, 2016, 1:12 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Please do not worry-there is no need for alarm. A source has informed me that these will be taken down by sundown this coming Sunday.
They were simply put up because there is a new "installation staff" for this area this year, and they just want to make sure that everything turns out smoothly for when it's time for the "real deal" (as they put it).
Please enjoy your day.
John Wasserman
Oct. 27, 2016, 4:46 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Also, if you don't mind:
Please don't listen to this "Sean F" character. Almost everyone knows that buildings do not eat candy. In fact, they do not eat. Period.
Pardon the interruption.
John Wasserman
Oct. 27, 2016, 4:49 pm

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