Mermaid Avenue lights up for the holidays for 1st time in decades

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CONEY ISLAND -

Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island has gotten a holiday makeover for the first time in decades.

The light displays haven't been up for two decades because they lacked funding. But the holiday spirit is back thanks to a $20,000 donation from Arker Companies.

The Alliance of Coney Island decked the avenue with brand-new LED lights stretching from Stillwell Avenue to West 33rd Street.

A new Welcome to Mermaid Avenue sign has also been added.

People say they are excited because they think it will make the street more welcoming for shoppers.

"It's more inviting down this corridor," says Lourdes Perez. "I know there's a lot of shops down the way. I think it will invite other businesses to come down and it'll be a big retail corridor. And what I love is you can stand on the platform of the subway station, look all the way down and see the Christmas lights."

With renewed funding from donations, the alliance says it'd be thrilled to turn the lights back on every year.

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