WALLINGFORD — Town residents definitely know it’s the holiday season when majestic figures are placed on the corner of East Center Street and South Airline Road, outside of Beaumont Farm.
The decorating process is well underway and should be completed by the weekend, according to farm owner Billy Beaumont.
“It’s all coming together,” Beaumont said while working on some finishing touches inside his shop. “We need a few more signs out there, but the bulk of it is done.”
This year’s display includes favorites from years past, as well as a few new creations that Beaumont has been working on since last year.
The “Snow and Heat Misers” are new to the display, a nod to the 1974 holiday film “The Year Without Santa Claus.”
Another new creation is the Somber Town Ice Pond, a skating rink filled with classic characters on ice skates, including Fred Astaire, the postman from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and Elsa from the 2015 hit “Frozen.”
A young Chris Kringle from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” will also make his way out to the pond.
“This year is a tribute to everyone who has liked our past work,” Beaumont said of the theme.
Even the household favorite Olaf can be seen on the display, driving a truck in front of the Abominable Snowcone Stand, run by the abominable snowmen family from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
The tradition started almost two decades ago with an inflatable Frosty the Snowman on the back of a 1931 Chevrolet, Beaumont and “at least a half-dozen” volunteers work from the week of Thanksgiving to create the display.
The sculptures are created using insulation foam, cardboard, paint and other materials.
“I love this,” Meriden resident Linda Curtis said, as she pulled over on South Airline Road to get pictures of this year’s display. “(Billy) does such a good job every year. It always brings me back to my childhood.”
The smiles on the faces of admirers such as Curtis are what keep Beaumont working year after year.
“It’s all about the smiles,” Beaumont said. “People are so happy down there.”
Beaumont has already begun planning and constructing new characters for next year’s display, including bringing back a well-known character.
The talking Rudolph animatronics reindeer has found a new home at Beaumont Farm after previously being on display at the former Hometown Landscape and Supply and former Vinny’s Garden Center.
Beaumont said Rudolph has significant wear and tear and needs repairs, including a new soundboard, before it will be ready for display.
“We’ll definitely have him ready next year,” Beaumont said. “It has a pretty good following.”
Beaumont said he would like to eventually create a similar display around Halloween, if he could ever find the time.
Based on the reactions from town residents, they would be grateful.
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