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Who has the best holiday displays?
Columnist issues call for help from readers to find the brightest of "Grand Holiday Displays"

 Rick and Bonnie Simpson's home in Bloomsbury topped last year's 'Grand Holiday Displays' list.
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Date published: 11/25/2012

By Rob Hedelt

WHILE MOST of us are shopping or finishing up turkey leftovers this weekend, Rick and Bonnie Simpson of Spotsylvania County are putting the final touches on their amazing Christmas display.

Not only has the couple, who live in the Bloomsbury neighborhood, already put up countless strings of lights and decorations, they've set up 20 or so uniquely decorated trees inside the house.

By now, Rick Simpson has also readied his home-built "reindeer train," made from 55-gallon plastic drums. He uses it to give young visitors rides behind his four-wheeler.

The Simpsons had their annual lighting celebration Thanksgiving night, inviting family, friends and neighbors to see the lights go on atop the house and in several tall trees.

But they certainly aren't alone hereabouts in having a dazzling Christmas display.

It's why, for the 22nd year, I'm again asking readers for help in creating a "Grand Holiday Displays" feature, to provide bright-lights lovers with a listing of our area's most highly decorated homes.

Get in touch soon and tell me about the best and most elaborately decorated houses hereabouts. Though all decorations are joyful, I'm not looking for houses with minimal decorations.

This list, used each year by those who enjoy "bright-lights cruising," is for those houses that are done up and then some. In other words, the ones with thousands of lights, layers of decorations, an elaborate computer display or something else that makes them unique.

Because I visit all the homes considered for the list, and because it takes longer and longer to do that, I've been forced to limit new nominations to homes in Fredericksburg and Stafford and Spotsylvania counties. I'll continue to list a few houses that have been regulars for years in other parts of the area.


Recommending a house for the list is easy.

The best way is emailing me, though you can also write a letter or send a fax. You can nominate your own house, your neighbor's or simply one you see while out and about.

To be considered for the list, a nomination must--and this is ironclad--include the home's address, a brief description of its display and directions to it.

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Get in touch to tell Rob about the area's best decorations. Please include an address, phone number of the house, a brief description and, if possible, a digital picture. Send info via email to rhedelt@freelancestar.com, fax to 540/373-8455 or mail to 616 Amelia St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401. None taken by phone.