Bah Humbug! Connecticut Family's Lavish Christmas Display Stirs Controversy with Neighbors
For nearly two decades, the Halliwells have transformed their home into a Christmas wonderland — much to the dismay of their neighbors
For nearly two decades, the Halliwell family has have transformed their Connecticut home into a Christmas wonderland — much to the dismay of their neighbors.
This year, the Halliwells used 350,000 Christmas lights to create the annual “Wonderland at Roseville” display that attracts hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of visitors. Now, neighbors fed up with the event started a petition, police tell PEOPLE.
“During the time that Wonderland at Roseville operates, the constant noise, the flow of people walking in the streets and many walking across our lawns, and the litter left behind are all a serious nuisance to our residents,” the petition reportedly stated, according to ABC News.
However, the Halliwells, who have been putting on lavish displays for 18 years, said they’ve cut down their hours of operation, lowered the voltage of the lights and turned down the music. Still, they said they’re hurt that neighbors didn’t come to them before starting the petition, WTIC reports.
“Why don’t we all put up lights?” Gene Halliwell said to the station. “Let’s really make it a neighborhood to really bring the people around.”
The family does not charge guests to view the display, but they accept donations, with a majority of the funds going to the Shriners Hospitals for Children and some going to electricity costs.
Nadine Losquadro, the neighbor who started the petition, said her main concern is parking issues, the Connecticut Post reports. She said she hopes officials would enforce “no event parking” restrictions on the area.
“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.
However, it seems both sides have come to an agreement, Lt. Robert Kalamaras of the Fairfield Police Department tells PEOPLE, adding that the department will work to minimize the event’s “impact to the community.”
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This was clearly a quality of life issue that the neighborhood came forward to do something to reduce the impact to the community,” he says. “Although there is no zoning violation or criminal offense, at times these types of events could cause public annoyance, increased traffic, and parking issues.”
The Halliwells have agreed to alter their hours of operation, keep the music down and use traffic cones for parking.
“We did not petition to complain about the display or ask that it be shut down, and we hope this is not the end result,” Losquandro told ABC. “The Halliwells and I have talked and I believe we came to the same conclusion. We all want the visitors and neighbors to be safe while the event carries on.”