A giant Charlie-in-the-Box, an ice-skating pond for penguins, and a huge inflatable airplane are just a few highlights coming from winners of this year’s holiday decorations contest, sponsored by the City of Santa Clara. This contest encourages residents to show their community pride and holiday spirit.
“The winners are awarded signs to place in front of their homes, and they get to keep those signs,” says Kathy Flood, a staff aide for the City Manager’s office. “Those contest winners will be honored at a council meeting on January 20 where they will receive a certificate of appreciation and be recognized for beautifying our community.”
Winning residences are located at 2583 Johnson Place, 1827 Laine Avenue, 4292 Burdick Lane, 1882 Homestead Road, and 1872 Homestead Road. The winning tree, business, and neighborhood, respectively, are at 995 Capitola Way, 1085 Di Giulio Avenue, and 4292-4392 Burdick Lane. The residence at 954 Sunlite Drive received a special recognition award.
Brady Arrillaga lives at 954 Sunlite Drive. This is his third time entering the contest, and his second time winning for his decorations in more than one category. Arrillaga and his nine year-old son, Shea, put up a display honoring the 50th anniversary of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The display will be up until Dec. 30.
“The television series came out in 1964 and everyone was glued to the television at that time because the show only came on one day out of the year,” Arrillaga says. “In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer were characters from the Island of Misfit Toys. They were set on an island and waiting to get fixed before they go to boys and girls. In my yard, I have the Spotted Elephant, Sally the Doll, Charlie-in-the-Box, Rudolph the Reindeer, and Sam the Snowman, who’s the show’s narrator, and a Christmas tree.”
Russell and Tracey Brazil live at 1827 Laine Avenue. This is their fifth year entering the contest, and their home’s fifth win. Their display will probably be up until after the New Year.
“We do the handmade cut-outs during the summer, so they’d be all ready by Christmas,” Tracey says. “This year, we have a video of Santa projected onto our window so it gives the impression that Santa is walking around in the house.”
“There’s also a skating pond on our driveway for penguins,” adds Russell. “So one person might be really excited about the skating pond, and then maybe somebody else would be excited about our Santa on the roof. Others really like the window.”
This is the fourth year that Rick Crocker’s house at 4292 Burdick Lane is recognized, and the fourth year in a row that his street received the neighborhood award. In front of his home is a new inflatable green plane to replace the red plane from previous years. Depending on the weather, Crocker will probably take down his decorations after the New Year.
“A lot of decorations have a limited life span so sometimes we cycle things in and out,” Crocker says. “[Regarding our street], every year people seem to add a little bit more to their decorations, so the street looks different every year.”