Crowds Out Of Control For Dyker Heights Christmas Light Displays, Some Neighbors Say

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A beloved holiday light spectacular in southern Brooklyn is not loved by everybody.

As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, some say the light show in Dyker Heights – and the visitors it brings – have gotten out of control. Indeed, at a meeting Monday night, feelings were far from festive.

Even before the kids go trick or treating, some families are stringing up their Christmas lights in Dyker Heights.

“I’ve been doing this for about 30 years,” said Jack Falcone.

Falcone can’t help but marvel at the extravagant decorations that attract thousands of people to the small area of Brooklyn each year.

“I love it and I love the neighborhood,” he said.

But many of Falcone’s neighbors argue the Dyker Heights holiday lights display has taken on a life of its own — with complaints that traffic, noise and garbage created when tour buses and visitors clog the streets are out of control. Some say they can’t even get out of their own driveway in December.

“People ringing my bell to use the bathroom at 11 o’clock at night; also, people defecating and urinating on private property,” said Teresa Mansell. “Christmas is my favorite holiday, but this has ruined it for me.”

“There are a lot of visitors who come, and it’s overwhelming the community,” said Josephine Beckmann.

Local leaders asked the city for a street event permit, so they could set guidelines on things like when the lights and music need to be turned off. They are also requesting more police officers to help keep order and direct traffic.

But with little explanation, the permit was denied. That did not go over well at Monday night’s community board meeting.

“They’re dancing in the streets! It’s terrible! We have no holidays!” one neighbor said at the meeting. “They’re having a holiday! We’re not!”

“I think we’re going over the boundaries of what Christmas is all about,” added Emma Crocensi.

Others say it’s a shame that decorations are dividing a neighborhood — putting a damper on what’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

“Give a break to the neighborhood,” Falcone said. “Don’t complain.”

It appears the fight is over — the lights will continue into the end of the year. One resident says without an event permit, the only solution is common courtesy and thinking about others – which, of course, is what the season is supposed to be about anyway.

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