Woman who started ‘Dyker Lights:’ The more they complained, the more I did

Woman who started ‘Dyker Lights:’ The more they complained, the more I did

Every year thousands of people flock to Dyker Heights to check out the neighborhood's festive decorations, and one woman says it was her house that started the tradition.
In 1986, Lucy Spata moved to Dyker Heights and claims her house was the first to start “Dyker Lights.”

“It was very blank here. Very blank. Not a light. And I started very little, but to them it was to the extreme,” says Spata.

However, in the beginning it wasn't fun for her neighbors, who complained about the crowds it drew.

“The more they complained, the more I did,” says Spata.
MORE: Your 2018 Brooklyn Holiday Lights Photos

Now many of her neighbors have joined in.

“Dyker Lights is better than Disney because they have their Christmas theme, and we do better lights than Disney did. We just do it. This is what happens here because this is a predominately Italian neighborhood. So, we've been decorating for a lot of years. Italians love Christmas,” says neighbor Michael Spadaro.

Most start putting up decorations the week of Thanksgiving. Some say they hire professional decorators, while others do it on their own. 

"I really do it myself, so it takes about three-four days and maybe five hours a day,” says neighbor Richard Devaynes.

While it is sometimes difficult to even leave their homes, residents say they wouldn't have it any other way.
“If I can do something that can bring a smile to other people's faces and make them happy and forget about their problems temporarily, then I feel good about that,” says resident Frank Mangano.

The lights are up until the first week of January.