Robust crowds viewed the 2014 display of the annual Interlochen Christmas Lights. Some visitors experienced a three-hour wait, as a bumper-to-bumper line of vehicles on Randol Mill extended past Fielder, to I-30 north and Davis south.
Lake Interlochen residents are thankful to Arlington Police officers for keeping the traffic moving in an orderly fashion.
There were numerous stretch limousines, groups of cyclists and runners, busses full of senior citizens, a Jeep club with a 50-vehicle caravan. Santa, accompanied by several elves, was spotted sitting in the back of a pickup truck, enjoying the lights and waving to motorists. Children shouted “Merry Christmas” from their cars. Visitors were of many different nationalities and religions. There were multi-generational families from ages 2 to 92 rejoicing in the Christmas spectacular.
Judges faced a difficult task in selecting recipients for the decorating awards as there were so many homes deserving special recognition. Winners from the last two years were not eligible. Here are the 2014 winners:
People’s Choice Award: 1122 Crowley Road. This year the home with the most nominations belonged to the Duperre family with their Blitzen’s Bar and wonderful, lifelike window projections.
Most Artistic Award: 1101 San Juan Court and 3201 San Paulo Court. Fortunately we have two Artistic awards because it was impossible to choose between these two beautifully lit homes. Congratulations to the Wightman family on San Juan and the Cubbage family on San Paulo for all their hard work and for jobs well done.
Best Theme Award: 1407 Porto Bello Court & 711 Findlay Drive. Luckily, we also have two Theme awards. The Whitley family’s hilarious “His & Hers” theme on Porto Bello is original and a little cheeky. The Gaines family theme on Findlay Drive is spiritual with a soaring sled of Angels and an impressive star in the sky.
The Griswald Award: 1114 Montreau Court. The Bates family deserved the award for over the top lighting in a unique configuration, with beautifully synchronized music to the dazzling display.
The Santa Award: 3116 Westwood Drive. The Smith/Kortkamp family is new to the neighborhood but they weren’t afraid to “go big” with a huge Santa in an even more huge fishing boat in the front yard plus other unique pieces.
Santa’s Choice: 1428 Porto Bello Court. Speaking of “going big”, the Walker family went gigantic with a 20-foot-tall Santa Claus and a lawn full of big fat crazy blow-ups that somehow all work together.
The Findlay Award: 1200 Crowley Road. This prestigious prize named after Lake Interlochen developer Bob Findlay is for Lifetime Achievement in decorating. The Vernor family does a tremendous job not only for Christmas every year for more than 30 years but also for Easter, Halloween and Thanksgiving.