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Town Full Of Grinches Try To Shut Down Family's Elaborate Light Display

Fairfield Citizen

For almost 20 years, the Halliwell family of Fairfield, Connecticut have lit up their town with a special Christmas tradition.

Beginning the night after Thanksgiving, the Halliwell family home transforms into "Wonderland at Roseville," a holiday display that attracts thousands of visitors each year. The Halliwells deck their halls with more than 300,000 lights, a model train, life-size Christmas figures and other decorations. They also play Christmas music to set the mood.

Wonderland at Roseville / Facebook

There's a small fee to admire the sound and light show, and all the proceeds are donated to a local Shriners Hospital. It's hard to imagine a more wholesome way to celebrate the holiday season, but Wonderland's neighbors are saying "bah, humbug" to this year's display.

A petition signed by 45 neighbors from 28 nearby households says that the wonderland display puts children and the elderly in danger. The Halliwell family's neighbors complain that the surge of cars on their street around Christmas is a risk and a nuisance.

"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 reads.

The Halliwells say they're "not happy" about the complaint, and are telling their side of the story.

Gene Halliwell says that his display isn't just good for spreading cheer and raising money; it supports local businesses too.

Fairfield Citizen

He expects that if Wonderland is shut off, local restaurants and shops will lose out on the extra money his tourists bring in. Gene's wife, Mary, adds that the display is a labor of love for the family.

"For my husband and my daughter, it's everything," she said. "My daughter was very sick ... she still was out here fixing, planning, you know, it didn't matter."

Mary Halliwell shows of her collection of Christmas figurines.ABC News

To try and appease their neighbors, the Halliwells have put up traffic cones, lowered the volume of their Christmas carols, and agreed to end the show earlier than in previous years, when it ran as late as 11 p.m. Local traffic police will also help direct guests on busier nights.

Nadine Losquadro, the neighbor who submitted the petition, says it was never her goal to get Wonderland shut down. But Gene and Mary's daughter, Maryann, says after the backlash this could be the final year for the attraction. "It's a real shame," she added.

SF Gate

Gene says he hopes that neighbors who approve of his display will respond by decorating their own homes, to "really make it a neighborhood to really bring the people around."

Should the Wonderland display be taken down? Share this story and tell us what you think!

[H/T: NY Post, ABC]

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