Sunnyside welcomes the holidays
by Kathleen Lees
Dec 05, 2012 | 828 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From right to left Sean McGowan holding daughter Sydney, Nou Rossi with daughter Madeline and Deborah McGowan with son Garrett.
From right to left Sean McGowan holding daughter Sydney, Nou Rossi with daughter Madeline and Deborah McGowan with son Garrett.
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Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer speaks before the street lighting
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer speaks before the street lighting
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Bundled up in their coats and scarves, Sunnyside residents gathered on Skillman Avenue last week to usher in the holiday season.

Now in its third year, the annual Skillman Avenue Lighting Ceremony was held on Nov. 29 with the help of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and other local officials.

“This began with a promise,” Van Bramer said, discussing the expansion of lights to 43rd Street since the beginnings of the ceremony.

The holiday snowflakes that hang from the lampposts along Skillman Avenue from 43rd Street to 53rd Street, have become a celebrated and popular community fixture each holiday season for residents and business owners of both Sunnyside and Woodside.

The lighting ceremony featured a variety of performances from the Sunnyside Drum Corps., Christmas caroling by the choirs of PS 11 and PS 150, and a finale from singer-songwriter Paul Byrom.

Gina Morino, owner of Aubergine Café on Skillman Avenue, helped pass out free hot cocoa and cider to those attending the event.

“It’s good to get in the spirit,” said Sunnyside resident Sean McGowan, out with his daughter Sydney. His wife, Deborah, and their son Garrett also attended the event.

“We’re first-timers,” said Nou Rossi, a neighbor of the McGowan’s, accompanied by his daughter, Madeline. “I think we’ll be coming from now on.”

Father Brian Dowd from the Queen of Angels Church on Skillman Avenue also reminded guests how lucky everyone was to enjoy the holiday festivities since Sandy hit a few weeks ago.

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