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Shelburne’s “Griswolds” shine bright this season

December 23, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Marni Walsh

 

The folks at MacRae Real Estate Team of At Home Realty Inc. Brokerage and  Timmerman, Haskell, Mills LLP  have announced the winners of their “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” exterior Christmas décor contest.

Congratulations go out to Matt and Tracey Walker of 241 Andrew Street in Shelburne first place winners, Tammy and Kevin Conley of 821 Greenwood Crescent second place winners, with honourable mentions going to 432 First Avenue.

The Walker family, with three children, has lived at 241 Andrew Street in Shelburne for six years. Tracey Walker says her husband has always been the family’s “Clark Griswold.” Even when they lived in a tiny house in Orangeville, Tracey says, “It was always lit up like a beacon.”

“As a society, we tend to focus on the negative issues thanks to social media,” says Mairi MacRae. “We were surprised and impressed this year to see several holiday light displays around Shelburne, and felt that as small business owners, we needed to step up and help promote awareness of these spirit-boosting neighbours.”

The companies donated $50 gift cards for Foodland or No Frills to the first and second place winners to help off-set some of the cost of decorating.

The contest ran via a Facebook poll on the Shelburne Q&A Resource Group until December 15.

With the permission of homeowners, Shelburne homes decorated for Christmas were nominated with a night time photo and address. Residents were asked to take a drive around Shelburne and look at the entries and vote for their favourite home on-line.

Tracey Walker says one of the things that excited her husband about their home in Shelburne was having “the space to do bigger things” for his Christmas decorating.

“He loves to see the reaction of our children and the neighbourhood,” she says.

In fact, Matt Walker has “fans” who come around at Christmas just to see what he is up to.

This year, Tracey said “He was late putting out the lights and had people check to see if he was ok and still living here.

“We have also had anonymous deliveries of lights to help out. Most of the neighbours love it and support him in his efforts for Christmas cheer and putting a smile on someone’s face. Whether you think its beautiful, or downright nuts, you still smile and have some reaction. He always adds to the lights every year and he goes a little brighter and crazier. Its something he loves to do, and people’s reactions and thanks makes all the hard work worth it.”

Second place winners of the contest were Kevin and Tammy Conley at 821 Greenwood Crescent.

“Our family loves the Christmas season – Christmas movies, Christmas music and enjoying this time together as a family,” says Tammy. “We all love Christmas lights and our kids look forward to the day we go out and turn our lights on for the first time. Our son Braeden, nine years old, helped his Dad this year for the first time and stated that when he gets older he will carry out this tradition. Our daughter Breanna, 12, enjoys helping to decorate the inside for Christmas with Mom.”

Kevin Conley, also known as “Mr. Griswold,” loves putting up Christmas lights. Tammy says, “Every year on Boxing Day, we go out and buy more lights to add to next year’s display. We have had a lot of positive feedback about our lights. People seem to comment about the tree the most – it has 32 strings of lights on it which makes about 2,000 lights, and takes a couple days to put up. Every year we have to buy more strings of lights to accommodate the growth of the tree.”

The Conleys say they enjoy seeing people stop out front to look at their Christmas display and Tammy says, “each year, both nursing homes make a stop out front of our house.”

Both families expressed their gratitude to The MacRae Real Estate Team from At Home Realty Inc. Brokerage and Timmerman, Haskell & Mills LLP for bringing awareness of Christmas in our community.

“From what I’ve heard, response to the contest has been great,” says Tracey Walker. “It brought the community together in a small way and took them on a voyage around to look at everyone’s lights. I’m hoping that more houses will get on board and make it something beautiful and fun for the community to look forward to.”

Mairi MacRae says the effort and investment that goes into Christmas decorating to the extent the Walkers and Conleys make each year, “is a commitment most of us can’t fathom. [In the future] we’d like to see more corporate sponsorship and funding incentives to grow this idea. We’d ultimately like to see something like a community “festival of lights” put Shelburne on the map for holiday tourism and bring people to town. Nothing boosts community spirit like lights and it surely can’t hurt our economy.”

         

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