How ’bout Dem lights?
Thousands flocked to the Canarsie home of Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Frank Seddio on Sunday to watch the local blue party leader flip the switch on his annual holiday light display.
And this year’s spectacle of more than 50,000 lights, dozens of animatronic dolls, and a life-size manger rivals the over-the-top decor of a far more famous yuletide attraction on the distant isle of Manhattan, according to Seddio.
“We are probably the most elaborate Christmas display in the city of New York, including the Rockefeller Center. What do they have, they have a tree, which is bigger than mine, but that’s it,” the politico said.
Seddio, a lifelong Canarsie resident, started setting the display up on his property at the corner of E. 93rd Street and Flatlands Avenue more than a month ago with family and a group of dedicated volunteers, continuing in a tradition he took over 33 years ago from his uncle and namesake Frank Guarino, who started the extravaganza back in 1965, he said.
“We start the last Saturday in October, and work every weekend until the first Sunday in December, when we open the lights,” Seddio said.
The lighting is a December must-see for many local families, and holds a particularly special place in the hearts of one Brooklyn couple, who, after four years of recreating their first date at Seddio’s spectacle, got engaged during last year’s event at the residence.
The local political leader’s 2018 light show incorporates elements nodding to Hanukkah and Kwanza as well as Christmas, and features such whimsical components as a Disney-themed section with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, an ice-skating rink for Smurfs, a hot air balloon and a zeppelin, and a five-foot-tall menorah.
And the reveal event wasn’t just a feast for the eyes — the host treated its some 1,500 attendees to festive sounds provided by the chorus from Canarsie’s PS 115, which returned to the lighting for the 20th year, and other singers from the neighborhood’s Holy Family Church, as well as performances by Bay View Houses’ resident singer Gloria Boyce, and a dance group from Bildersee Junior High School.
But the star of the show, of course, was Mr. Claus himself, who delighted local youngsters by making the long journey from the North Pole to Canarsie, according to a Mill Basin mom.
“The kids really loved seeing Santa,” said Vanessa Wein.
Wein, who attended the event with her fiancee Anthony Vaccaro, 13-year-old step son Michael, and 5-year-old daughter Isabella, said her tots made sure to take advantage of their face time with the jolly old elf.
“Isabella asked Santa for unicorn stuff, a new phone, and stuff by [YouTube celebrity] Jojo Siwa,” the mom said.
The bearded man of the hour wasn’t the only special guest — Mickey Mouse and the Cat in the Hat both also stopped by, along with Cookie Monster — who couldn’t help but eat most of the sweet treats set out for attendees, Seddio said.
The light spectacle will be up through the end of the year, according to the homeowner.
And, after Santa finishes his Dec. 25 worldwide present delivery, the elf and his wife will return to the house on Dec. 26, where they can be viewed in a special display until Seddio dismantles the whole shebang, he said.
Seeing the sheer joy his lights bring to young observers is what inspires Seddio to repeat the herculean effort year after year, he said.
“Just take a look at the smile of a 5-year-old kid. It’s priceless, nothing better than looking at kids enjoying the display,” Seddio said.
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