Fifth Avenue’s sparkling snowflake is brighter than ever

December 6, 2023

Image courtesy of the Fifth Avenue Association

Fifth Avenue’s famous snowflake, a cherished New York City holiday fixture for 40 years, is back and brighter than ever. The Fifth Avenue Association and the Stonbely Family Foundation on Sunday celebrated the lighting of the refurbished snowflake, which features 16,500 sparkling crystals and new high-intensity full-color LED lights. The twinkling 30-foot-wide snowflake is suspended 50 feet above Fifth Avenue and 57th Street from four buildings: the Aman Hotel, Bergdorf Goodman, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co.

The upgraded snowflake now features more than 600 new double-sided miniature LED lights, tripling the number of lights on its branches. Additionally, halogen lights around its newly polished steel-and-chrome core have been replaced with projection LEDs, according to the New York Times.

With these upgrades, the snowflake is now capable of much more. Its all-LED configuration allows for light shows at the beginning of every hour, lasting for a couple of minutes, featuring a full range of colors instead of just white.

The huge snowflake first made its debut at the intersection in 1984. Over the years, the attraction has become synonymous with the holiday season in Manhattan, and in 2001, it received its first redesign and rededication for the world’s children.

The restored snowflake is now part of the Fifth Avenue Snowflake for Humanity, an organization that donates all funds raised from the installation to humanitarian, fine arts, and performing arts organizations.

This year’s installation will be even more accessible due to the expanded “Gift of Fifth” Fifth Avenue Open Streets. As part of the program, Fifth Avenue will close to cars and transform into a winter wonderland on December 10 and 17 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For the duration of the event, Fifth Avenue from 48th Street to 59th Street becomes a holiday destination, with fun decor, festive food and beverages, photo-ops, store giveaways, and more.

“Fifth Avenue sparkles with the lights of the holidays and the snowflake at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street is its north star,” Marie Boster, President of the Fifth Avenue Association, said. 

“We look to the snowflake’s brightness, uniqueness, and splendor – just like the iconic avenue – to let us know the holiday season is here. Many of our members came together to support hanging the snowflake during the Gift of Fifth so all New Yorkers can enjoy it, and I thank them for their contributions.”


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