Beach 116th Street Looks Merry, Happy & Bright


The Rockaway Civic Association and the Beach 116th Street merchants have been hard at work to make the block merry and bright this holiday season. On Tuesday, they celebrated the beginning of Hanukkah with the annual menorah lighting (See Page 9), and last week they kicked off the season with the annual tree lighting, plus an extra surprise.

The annual Christmas Tree lighting has been a longtime, popular tradition on the block and means a lot to the business owners and the community alike. So when the merchants, along with Rockaway Civic, began planning, painstaking care was given to each detail to ensure the events would not disappoint. Part of the planning included a special surprise to the corridor and community, which has been a big hit since.

On December 2, the Christmas Tree Lighting festivities took place replete with musical entertainment from Belle Harbor School, Scholars Academy, House on the Rock church and St. Francis de Sales. Dancers of all ages from Mrs. Elaine’s delighted the crowd with their lively foot work. After a blessing from Father Bill of SFDS, the tree was lit. The night ended with the arrival of Santa and his elves to hear all Rockaways’ good little boys and girls’ holiday requests.

Attendees also got a first look at  a special surprise for the block. With a flip of a switch, the center median street trees wrapped in lights were set aglow. This street tree project was a major decision and collective effort by the merchants on the corridor.  Once the decision to invest in creating a more welcoming corridor for the community to shop along and enjoy was made, the merchants banded together, contributing their money to fund the project. With clock ticking, local Jim Brady and his team at Monster Window & Power Washing were hired to make the vision into a reality.

Merchants on Beach 116th Street say the lights are more than a decoration to mark the holiday season; the lights will remain as an enhancement to the corridor year-round. They also symbolize the bright new direction and first steps the merchants are taking together with their renewed collaborative efforts to bring more unique and exciting things to the corridor. The Beach 116th merchants would also like to remind all to shop local and shop often. Your patronage is greatly appreciated.

The merchants of Beach 116th Street and the Rockaway Civic Association wish our community a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.