You are reading

Holiday spirit convenes under Sunnyside Arch for lighting ceremony

Dancers from the Sunnyside Ballet Studio performed pieces from the Nutcracker. (Photo by Iryna Shkurhan)

Nov. 20, 2023 By Iryna Shkurhan

Hundreds of locals of all ages gathered underneath the Sunnyside Arch for a holiday lighting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 17. 

The festive event, which put forward performances from Sunnyside Ballet Studio and Sunnyside Drum Corps, was organized by the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District. Vendors along 46th St. sold hot chocolate and elote while Christmas carolers belted away holiday classics. 

The Sunnyside Dump Corp were the first performers of the night. Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

The holiday lights along Queens Boulevard spanning from 38th Street to 50th Street, along with several blocks on Greenpoint Avenue, were already lit up ahead of the event. But following a collective countdown, the snowflake lights on 46th Street between Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue were turned on as the final addition to the display. 

“They’re beautiful, and we’re very glad to bring them to you every year,” said Dirk McCall de Palomá, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines. “And we’re trying to find ways to make them even bigger and better.”

Santa Clause came to Sunnyside early this year. Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

Members of the Sunnyside Ballet Studio performed several dances from the Nutcracker. They are gearing up for their performance at Queens Theatre on Dec. 17. 

Council Member Julie Won also attended the event with her husband and son, whom McCall de Palomá referred to as the “first baby of the district” in his remarks. 

Dirk McCall de Palama, Executive Director of Sunnyside Shines, led the event. Photo by Iryna Shkurhan

Won announced that over 2,000 turkeys were distributed to NYCHA residents in District 26, which includes the Queensbridge, Ravenswood and Woodside Houses. They also served over 2,000 hot traditional Thanksgiving meals to NYCHA residents, as well as new migrants residing in nearby shelters for their first Thanksgiving in the United States.

“When we think of the holidays, we think of community and we think of how resilient we’ve been,” said Shyvonne Noboa, associate executive director of Older Adult Services at Sunnyside Community Services. “And sometimes when the world can seem chaotic, we can lean on each other.” 

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Dozens of people, believed to be migrants, found living in cramped Queens cellar

Mayor Eric Adams confirmed that dozens of people, believed to be migrants, were found living illegally inside a commercial business in South Richmond Hill on Monday afternoon.

The cellar dwellers were discovered inside an illegal conversion of a 2-story, mixed-use building on Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill, according to the city’s Department of Buildings. DOB Inspectors were called to the scene at 132-03 Liberty Ave. by FDNY first responders after fire prevention inspectors acting on a tip found the people living in cramped and illegal conditions.

Brooklyn man charged with manslaughter, DWI, for Astoria collision that killed his wife: DA

New details have emerged in the case against a Brooklyn man who allegedly crashed into several cars in Astoria last week while driving drunk, and then drove off in the wrecked vehicle to a residential block in Maspeth four miles away with a gravely injured passenger. The passenger turned out to be his wife, who later died, and the boozed driver told investigators that the couple was being followed when the collision occurred, according to the criminal complaint.

Rey Perez, 27, of Caton Avenue in Flatbush, was arraigned on Friday in Queens Criminal Court on charges of manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other crimes for speeding through stop signs last Thursday morning, crashing into another vehicle and two parked cars, before speeding from the scene to Maspeth where he sought help for his wife, 29-year-old Bridget Enriquez, who later succumbed to her injuries.