The most important 6 weeks of shopping of the year are between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
During that time, the BID places specially-designed holiday lights across each street covering the entire length of 5th Avenue from 38th to 64th Street. Looking like strings of pearls, the specially-designed LED rope lights span our avenue from Thanksgiving through Three Kings Day.
Distinctive streamers welcoming visitors and shoppers to the "Sunset Park BID" are located at each end of the district, at 38th and 64th Street. These signs can be seen from the Gowanus Highway, bringing attention to the BID commercial strip.
The Sunset Park BID places an 18’ holiday tree on the sidewalk in front of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica at 60th Street and 5th Avenue. It can be seen from the week after Thanksgiving until Three Kings Day. Throughout the season, we see families taking pictures in front it to send home to relatives still living abroad.
As an official start of the holiday season, the Sunset Park BID, in cooperation with OLPH Basilica, holds a special ceremony on the street in front of the church, usually on the Thursday after Thanksgiving. Santa sits in front of the tree and children can have their picture taken with him, compliments of the BID. Each child gets a goody bag of toys too. Then choirs from our local schools and organizations ring in the season, entertaining their neighbors for several hours.
As night falls and it gets dark, the tree is lit to a countdown from the crowd.
The Sunset Park BID has sidewalk Santas walking the avenue giving out candy canes. During the course of the holiday season, the BID gives out about 5,000 candy canes, bringing extra joy to children of Sunset Park.
Sidewalk Sales Days
As an added treat, the BID hosts Sidewalk Sales Days. This gives businesses the chance to put their goods outside, to make it easier for shoppers to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones.
The Sunset Park BID also sponsors a Holiday Trolley. It stops at every bus stop of the B63 bus, between 38th and 64th Street. Shoppers can get on and off as often as they want during its 4 hour run. It is not only helpful for passengers with lots of packages, but also entertaining. Santa is on board giving children candy canes and adults get reuseable cotton shopping bags with other goodies inside.