Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday Lights Snuffed Out At Jones Beach

Attendance At Light Show Dips, As Spirit Of Long Islanders Dims

There will be no holiday light show at Jones Beach State Park this season, so reports Newsday.

Instead, as per the official Jones Beach website, the Holiday Light Spectacular will take place at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. [First the Giants. Then the Jets. (Neither of which have been much of a loss.) And now the Jones Beach holiday light show.]

Apparently, not enough of us have been driving through the parade of lights in order to make the continuation of the annual rite profitable for the promoter.

Could it be that Long Islanders -- who drive anywhere and everywhere -- are running out of gas, both figuratively and literally?

If the lights along "Main Street" seem a little dimmer, and even the gleem in the eyes of Long Islanders that typically shines through the glumness of a stagnant LI economy appears to have lost its twinkle this year, maybe what we need is a bit of charity from the promoter -- or even from State Parks -- so that the light show, at least at Jones Beach, could go on.

How about a reprieve from the Governor? That would boost him in the polls by a point or two.

Not since the government-imposed blackouts of WWII -- or, perhaps, the great Northeast blackout of the 60s -- has Long Island been plunged into such darkness. It is a darkness of the soul, and a diminution of the very spirit of the holiday season.

Maybe its not all doom and gloom along the Meadowbrook and Wantagh Parkways, but gosh darn, it does seem that the holiday cheer has come under a wet blanket, the joy of giving taking a back seat to profits, and the plug pulled on yet another holiday tradition that brought light to our eyes and our hearts, if not our island.
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Jones Beach holiday lights show cancelled

After seven years and declining attendance, the promoter who put on the holiday light show at Jones Beach has canceled the production for this winter.

About 70,000 cars drove through the West End in the first year but the number has dropped to about half since then, according to George Gorman Jr., regional director for operations for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

State parks, which received a licensing fee from Live Nation - a concert producer at the Jones Beach Theater - dropped the fee last year in attempt to keep the program going. Live Nation also shifted the venue last year to the theater and added an ice skating rink but it did not boost attendance.

"[The holiday light show] was still not profitable for them," Gorman said.

Gorman said state parks officials would look at possibly operating the attraction itself next year or renegotiating the agreement with Live Nation to have the company do the show again. But he added there was not enough time to do anything this year.

1 comment:

  1. The real reason is the misnaming of the show. Stop fooling around and call it by the real name: Christmas Lights show! Maybe moree people will attend.