A real-life “Christmas Vacation” in the Philly area

[ Story and photos by Rick Pettine ]

December 27, 2019 – Mickleton, NJ — For those that can’t go through the holiday season without watching “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” at least once (and you know who you are), this experience is for you! Mickleton, NJ resident Steve Harbaugh is now famous across the country due to his authentic rendition of the Christmas Vacation display. He was surely pushing the power generation meters with “250 stands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per stand for a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights!” Well, there were a lot of lights anyway.

Steve now has 3 replica vehicles to enhance the already spectacular display. This includes Cousin Eddie’s 1973 Ford Condor (“that there’s an R-V”), purchased in La Mirada, California from Jeff Norton, a similarly passionate display owner on the West Coast.

“Shitter’s full!”

Also added this year is a 1984 LTD police car, with lights flashing and Chicago Police decals (cue music…”Here Comes Santa Claus”.) But taking center stage is a 1989 Ford Taurus station wagon with an 18-foot Christmas tree, including the roots, tied to the roof of the car.

Besides bringing joy to all of the fans in the region (and remotely across the country through their “The Griswolds of NJ” Facebook page), visitors can bring unwrapped toys which are being collected for the Gloucester County Toys for Tots and for the nonprofit, Kelly’s Kidz. The toys will be donated to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, specifically for the burn unit and kidney dialysis Christmas parties, and for the parents to give to their children.

You can visit the display located at 503 Legends Court in Mickleton, NJ (just across the Commodore Barry bridge) through January 1. And by the way, the “lights are not twinkling Clark!”, but thanks for noticing. Happy Holidays!!

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