Tonight, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel will come to an end as the 72-foot, four-ton “giglio” is hoisted and returned to its shrine on N. 8th Street.
The rides will spin to a halt and the lights will come down.
We get giddy for carnival games and sausages when those flower-shaped lights go up every year, so we got to wondering who makes them. Turns out, it’s a local company that, at 108 years, is almost as old as the feast itself.
And Illuminations doesn’t just do street festivals — it also makes Christmas happen! That’s right: Santa’s workshop is real, and it’s located in East Williamsburg.
According to manager Brittney Migliaccio, whose great grandfather owned the business, Illuminations manufactures and installs custom displays for neighborhoods like Chinatown and the Financial District, where the company has a five-year contract to make Water Street twinkle. Here’s one of its trusty cherry pickers turning St. Marks Place into a winter wonderland last year:
Fun fact: they also did the iconic lights that hang over the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.
We recently stopped by the Illuminations warehouse and shop to have a look at their wreaths, streamers and giant menorahs (they do Hanukkah, too). In this blazing heat, it’s good to know someone’s already working to make Christmas happen. Check out the slideshow.