For the past 18 years, the Halliwell family of Fairfield, Conn., has celebrated the holiday season by turning their home into a glittering spectacle called "Wonderland at Roseville". Featuring 300,000 lights, the display routinely brings traffic from all over to see the festivities, something not all of the Halliwell's neighbors are happy about.
The Connecticut Post reports that residents from 28 households nearby have sent a petition to the first selectman's office asking the police to take action regarding the traffic that piles up thanks to the display, as the lights attract around 30,000 people between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.
"We appreciate the entertainment to the community and the charity that the Wonderland at Roseville brings. However, our concern is the event’s traffic and parking situation which presents a significant public safety concern for our neighborhood,'' said Nadine Losquadro, who presented the petition.
While Wonderland at Roseville does not charge for admission, donations are accepted and go to Shriners Hospital for Children in Massachusetts.
Gene Halliwell is now worried that the petition could mean the end of the display, as propositions to control traffic might not solve the problem. Police say there is no way to enforce an event parking restriction, although restrictions were put in place last year and will continue this year, and traffic will be one way. Halliwell explained that hiring police officers would leave them with little money to donate to the hospital and he fears that “no matter what we’ll do, it won’t appease some people.”
Losquadro noted that she is concerned about the safety of residents, although there have been no reported incidents during the weeks the display has been up.
“We did not move into our homes knowing there would be, or could be, parking restrictions imposed on us for six weeks out of every year during prime holiday time,” Losquadro said.
In a comment posted to the Fairfield Citizen’s website, Losquadro clarified that the petition was not seeking to end the display but merely to control the traffic it brings.
"The petition does not protest the display,” the comment read. "It simply asks the town to help control traffic and parking in the neighborhood to make it safer for everyone. Nothing more. I hope I can speak for all my neighbors when I say we enjoy the lights display and the charity it brings. We’re not asking for it to end."
Photo Credit: Facebook / Wonderland at Roseville