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Partly Cloudy,48°
Friday, April 18, 2014
Winter wonders
Holiday events aim to draw visitors to Long Beach
Initiatives aim to boost business
By Alexandra Spychalsky
Photos by Kristie Arden/Herald
Chris Quinn and his daughter, Leah, 2, checked out the new holiday lights on the boardwalk at a ceremony on Monday.

The holiday season kicked off in Long Beach this week with a number of festive events, including the lighting of the new boardwalk holiday lights.

Events and activities are scheduled during the next few weeks to draw visitors to Long Beach and, consequently, customers to local businesses. The city, the Chamber of Commerce and a number of neighborhood organizations have come together to put on a full schedule of events this season, like pop-up shops and a winter parade in the West End, lights and entertainment on the boardwalk and plans for a family-friendly New Year’s Eve event is in the works.

The groups have galvanized in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, in an attempt to help businesses get through what is expected to be a tough winter season. Business owners said that, while beachgoers help boost business in the summer, when the temperatures drop, so does business. The patronage of Long Beach residents is what gets most stores and restaurants through the slow season, but with a large number still displaced, or dealing with expensive rebuilding costs, many business owners are unsure what to expect in the coming months.

Along with the special events, the city is also extending its successful summer marketing campaign into the winter.

“We’re reminding people that Long Beach is a year-round destination,” said Councilwoman Eileen Goggin.

The city also announced that it is continuing its marketing campaign through the winter months, including a television commercial to promote the city that was filmed this week. Though actor and comedian Billy Crystal will not be bringing his star power to this new round of winter commercials, Goggin said they will focus on drawing people in to visit the shops and restaurants during the winter months. Like the summer marketing campaign, this effort is funded through a number of grants from the state, Bethpage Federal Credit Union and Citibank.

The lights are bright on the boardwalk — and all over the city

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