Storeowners have taken matters into their own hands, organizing for the Throggs Neck Holiday Lights along E. Tremont Avenue.
For the first time, the businesses along E. Tremont between Waterbury and Coddington avenues, will be adding the festive lights to their blocks.
“It makes our block look more holiday friendly and puts people in the spirit,” said Creative Image owner Francesca Falciano. “Frankly this block has been tired of being left out for a lot of things because no one has put their foot in and got involved. Myself and a bunch of other store owners felt it was time, I want to see good things happen for this area.”
In total, the new additions hope to raise about $ 3,600, for six strands of lights, four between Waterbury and LaSalle Avenues, and two from LaSalle to Coddington Avenue.
“It makes my own business stand out a little more because the holiday season is kind of what we wit for all year,” said LaSalle Bakery owner Dominick Passafiume, who is collecting from the businesses on his block. “We have a diverse customer base here and is makes the block more festive and add a positive component to the few blocks here.”
LaSalle Bakery has been around for over 60 years, decorating their store each holiday season and donating food to City Harvest.
These two blocks will be an extension of the Throggs Neck Holiday Lights tradition, organized by the Throggs Neck Merchants Association, which extended from Miles to Waterbury Avenues last year, spanning over 20 blocks and costing an estimated $ 23,000.
“It’s definitely going to extend longer than last year,” said John Cerini, head of the Throggs Neck Merchants Association. “I have very happy to see there are business owners on that side excited to be apart of our holiday lights.”
Community Board 10 pitched in to help the area fill out the proper paperwork and Throggs Neck Merchants will be extending their vendor, New York Christmas LTD, to cover the area as well as provide the donating businesses with a certificate to place in their store acknowledging them.
“Every year the residents of the community appreciate the festive atmosphere and holiday spirit the store bring to the neighborhood,” said Cerini, who hopes the display will encourage residents to do their holiday shopping at the local stores.
“Is the item they are looking for is local I think they will stay,” stated Cerini, owner of Capital Shield Insurance. “They keep our businesses thriving and are giving us the opportunity to give back through the display.”
Last year a total of 42 strands were purchased, and this year Cerini explains they are aiming for about 50.
Cerini hopes people commend the stores who have donated towards the lights for their effort and generosity, and encourage those stores that have yet to contribute to do so.
A list of contributing stores can be viewed at www.throggsneck.org. In addition, those who sign up to have coupons and sales information emailed to them will be automatically entered to win a third generation iPod nano and various other prizes, with winners to be announced in January.