Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Christmas decorations on the streets of Melbourne
I was amused to read an article by Lorna Edwards in today’s Age newspaper about the competition in Melbourne to have the most spectacular street of Christmas decorations.
This year we haven’t even put up a string of coloured lights on the verandah. Bah humbug to Christmas lights until the Fiji army goes back to the barracks! Actually, you only see lights and stars when it's dark.
LANA Spivey could hardly wait for the crowds to come as she positioned a giant inflatable tree on a lawn already bursting with Christmas bling. She’s proud to be a Griswold, the festive family in Christmas Vacation that almost bring down the city’s power when the switch is flicked on their illuminated house."I just love it and it’s my favourite time of year," she says. "We always sit outside and talk to the people who come and it’s just so gratifying when you see the children’s faces." The Spiveys live in Kamarooka Drive, Wattle Glen, one of a growing number of suburban streets sporting a blinding wattage of Christmas spirit.
The Boulevard in Ivanhoe may have been firmly entrenched as Melbourne’s Christmas Street for four decades, but Kamarooka Drive residents are damn sure they’re not going to be forgotten. Armed to the teeth with glowing Santas, prancing reindeer and shooting stars, the folk of Wattleglen believe they have surpassed their complacent rival.
"I think we are the new Boulevard," says Spivey. "We now get buses and buses of people and it’s literally like Bourke Street."
By day, you wouldn’t know it. Kamarooka Drive is an unassuming row of brick veneers stretching up a hill alongside the towering power lines that separate them from the neighbouring Diamond Creek estate.
As the drought and water restrictions bite, the front lawns are dull and parched. But by night, it’s a different story. The hillside is aglow like a mini Las Vegas. There are gleaming herds of reindeer, cascading icicles, rows of candy canes and Santas galore.And not just static Santas, either: he climbs, sings, dances and cycles. The Spiveys and their 50-odd festive neighbours work hard to bring in the crowds.
"Every year we build on it and go to the Boxing Day sales at Target at Kmart," says Spivey.
This year’s piece de resistance is by the front door: a karaoke Santa that belts out half a dozen carols. There are few dim spots on Kamarooka and the forecourts that run off it……
There are an equally large number of blackened homes that just say no to all the hoho- ho. But after seven years on the street, Ebacioni is not put off by the bah-humbuggers.
Pictures coming up a bit later! google doesn't like them so far!