The Halliwell family celebrates Christmas in a big way. There’s a lot to see outside their home – the “Wonderland at Roseville”- on Roseville Terrace. Families come from all over to see it. There are thousands of decorations, including a train, nutcrackers and reindeer. There are also 350,000 lights.
The front porch, roof and yard are full of Christmas cheer. More than 30,000 people are expected to come and see it this year.
“They’re so happy, from the little ones to the big ones to the elderly ones,” said Mary Halliwell, the homeowner. “It’s wonderful.”
The Christmas extravaganza has been hard on some of the neighbors, however. The lights are bright, the music is loud, and the typically quiet street is filled with cars. Fairfield police got involved.
“We tried to assist the event by bringing in some cones and some barricades to help with the parking in the neighborhood,” said Lt. Robert Kalamaras.
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Neighbors brought a petition to the town’s attention with 45 signatures. Halliwell says she didn’t know the neighbors were frustrated until she heard from police. But, she says, her neighbors are not Grinches.
“We can sympathize with everybody,” Halliwell said. “Who wants people parking in front of their houses?”
But not all of the neighbors want the “Wonderland at Roseville” to change. Some don’t mind the extra traffic, and they enjoy the neighborhood festivities.
“I think it’s cool,” said Fadi Reis. “I like it because it makes it feel like the spirit of the holidays.”
The Halliwells are trying to be good neighbors. They’ve turned the music down, lowered the voltage of the lights and cut back on their hours. There are now signs up and down the street prohibiting families coming to see the festive display from parking on certain parts of the street. The family hopes to find peace in the neighborhood during the holiday season, and all year long.
“At least we’re trying. They know if they have a problem, just come to us,” said Halliwell. “We’ll see how we can work it out.”
It doesn’t cost anything to see the display, but the family takes donations for the Shriners Hospital for Children. They’ve donated tens of thousands of dollars over the past 18 years.