Long Island man goes for Dyker Heights’ crown with dazzling, interactive Christmas display
Eat your heart out, Brooklyn!
Long Island’s king of Christmas, Michael Masone, has officially dethroned the “Dyker Lights” mainstays that’ve held court for decades with his tricked-out winter wonderland.
“It looks like Rockefeller Center coming down the block,” Masone proudly told The Post.
But Masone puts even Rock Center to shame with his nearly half-acre property that’s transformed for the holiday into a dazzling North Pole and interactive amusement park — complete with a Christmas-themed roller coaster and ice skating rink.
On a busy night, lines wrap around the block in his normally quiet Nassau County neighborhood, attracting around 500 people to the over-the-top Christmas castle with fiberglass figurines, 1,000 blow molds, and endless LED lights — all against a backdrop of Christmas tunes tthat would put even the biggest Grinch in a holiday mood.
Masone tracks the crowd based on the number of waivers they sign to skate on his temporary 45×20-foot synthetic “glice” rink, for which he provides free skates in all sizes — and for the exhilarating Santa-helmed Christmas caboose on a 55×20-foot track with four carts holding 16 little elves newly arrived from overseas via cargo ship.
Masone, a 36-year-old owner of his own masonry company, said he took out a $10 million event insurance policy this year.
On Monday, he’s hosting a block party and fundraiser for St. Jude, complete with Santa riding in on his sleigh, fireworks, face painting, a dessert table and life-sized snow globe made for selfies.
He thinks the thousands of visitors flooding his home discovered him through social media — and suspects it’s a draw for out-of-towners since he’s detected various visitors with foreign tongues.
He won’t discuss cost — but refuses to accept money from guests.
“I don’t take a single dollar for anything,” he said, adding, “It’s not their problem that I want to do this.”
For Masone, the goal is simple and the payoff incalculable.
“We give people something to see that they don’t see anywhere else,” he said, noting that seeing wide-eyed children marvel at the display is the real payoff.
“I don’t pat myself on the back. I don’t compete with anybody but myself,” said Masone.
Well, except maybe Dyker Heights.
“I know Dyker’s beautiful – no two ways about it,” he said. “But this is different. We have the only interactive Christmas display on Long Island.”
One Facebook fan declared, “I think he just won Christmas,” while another summed it up with a verdict of: “You are crazy and I say this in an awesome way.”
Masone’s wife tolerates the hordes of visitors and her husband’s boyhood wonder with Christmas.
“She doesn’t like it,” he conceded — but stressed that he doesn’t bother her the rest of the year.
Except, of course, for his fanciful Fourth of July display.
Masone takes his inspiration from Michael Jordan and merrily chalks up his perfectionist spirit as an obsession.
“I have to be the absolute best at everything I do – it’s an obsession,” he said.
He’s already plotting future displays.
“I want live reindeer next year or possibly a ferris wheel,” he said. “I’m one big kid at heart. Christmas is my holiday.”
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