Before City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) was elected, he sat down with Gary O’Neil, the owner of Aubergine CafÈ on Skillman Avenue.
“O’Neil said it would be nice to have a holiday event on Skillman,” Van Bramer said Thursday night, at the now-annual avenue snowflake lighting that showed he took the wish to heart. The tradition, followed by Woodside on the Move’s 8-foot-tall Christmas tree lighting over the weekend in Sohncke Square, only grows.
At 6 p.m. Nov. 29 a couple hundred residents crowded the closed block of Skillman Avenue and 50th Street. Most people were bundled in hats, gloves and thick jackets waiting for the arrival of Santa and musical performances.
Last year Father Brian Dowd from Queen of Angels Roman Catholic Church pitched in more lights to extend the cache of large lit-up snowflakes dangling from the avenue’s street lamps from 43rd Street to 53rd Street.
Santa arrived for an advance visit around 7 p.m. The Sunnyside Drum Corps performed and singer-songwriter, Paul Byrom, whose album “This Is the Moment” recently debuted at No. 1 on the World Billboard Charts, closed out the holiday event.
Students from PS 11 and PS 150 sang an original song created by their choir director called “Christmas at Our School.”
Gabrielle Brown, 10, from PS 11 said the song was her favorite part of the event.
Aubergine CafÈ provided hot chocolate and apple cider.