Family Mulls Ending Christmas Display After Neighbors Petition to Shut It Down

A family could be forced to turn off its intricate Christmas display decorated with 300,000 lights because of complaints from neighbors about traffic and parking.

The Connecticut Post reports the Halliwell family's huge decorative display in Fairfield drew about 30,000 visitors last holiday season, not counting those who drove by without stopping. The Halliwells have been putting up the display for 18 years.

This year, police plan to make some roads one way and establish temporary parking restrictions while the display is up, preventing some residents from parking outside their homes.

Neighbor Nadine Losquadro submitted a petition with 45 signatures to town officials and police asking them to come up with an alternative plan.

"We did not move into our homes knowing there would be, or could be, parking restrictions imposed on us for six weeks out of every year during prime holiday time," she said.

She also said the heavy traffic could be a safety issue, making it difficult for ambulances or firetrucks to navigate during an emergency.

The Halliwells said nobody has gone to them directly with complaints. They said they hope to find a solution to address their neighbors' concerns but fear there is no way to make everyone happy.

 Gene Halliwell, said ending the display could be bad for nearby businesses.

"People come here and have dinner and then go see the lights," he said.

As of Monday, the Halliwells said they had agreed to shut down earlier each day, turning off the lights by 9 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. But they said the new hours have impacted donations they use to pay for higher electric bills and to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield, Massachusetts.

"We're trying to figure out what to do," Maryann Halliwell said. "It's probably our last year. It's a real shame."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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