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Extravagant Christmas light displays causing hostility, along with safety and traffic problems

Some Christmas displays around the country are fun, but they can have a downside. The decorations at Dyker Heights, a Brooklyn neighborhood known for its displays, runs through Jan. 1. (Serge Yatunin/Getty Images)

Extravagant Christmas displays found all over America this time of year are turning some people into Scrooges as they complain about safety, traffic problems, and pollution, Reuters news reported.

We’ve all seen the garish spectacles that range from the elegant to the not-so-elegant. Homes are decked out in endless strands of winding and twinkling Christmas lights, sometimes in every imaginable color. Inflatable Santas, snowmen, toy soldiers, and reindeer tower over front lawns. Lit-up candy canes and peppermints line the walkways to front doors.

Some call the displays fun and beautiful. Others just want all of it to go away.

Why are people upset?

The “over-the-top" Christmas displays are causing problems in traditionally quiet neighborhoods in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, Reuters reported. Problems stem from the number of people coming into the neighborhoods to gawk at the displays, critics say.

The Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn, for example, is expected to draw more than 100,000 sightseers, Fran Vella-Marrone, president of Dyker Heights Civic Association, told Reuters. Tour buses take people through the neighborhood from Dec. 15 through Jan. 1. Some of the spectators come from as far away as Japan.

The number of sightseers turns the neighborhood into an out-of-control block party, Josephine Beckmann, district manager of the local community board, told Reuters. Streets are filled with pedestrians and last year an ambulance had trouble driving down the street, Beckmann said.

"This is a residential neighborhood — not Times Square!" Vella-Marrone said.

Hot chocolate and popcorn vendors flock to the neighborhood, "creating mountains of trash and polluting the air with their idling food trucks," residents said.

Where else are crowds causing havoc?

In New Jersey, neighbors are angered over crowds coming into their Old Bridge neighborhood to stare at Tom Apruzzi's eye-popping display of 300,000 lights on his home. According to published reports, Apruzzi said a windshield was broken on one of his trucks and someone spit on it.

In Fairfield, Connecticut, police were called in to calm down neighbors upset over parking problems reportedly caused by Gene Halliwell's display called "Wonderland on Roseville. Last year, it drew about 30,000 visitors. Fairfield Police Lieutenant Robert Kalamaras told Reuters.

Here are a few of the extravagant Christmas lights displays posted by Twitter users:




Not to be outdone, a man decorated his car with Christmas lights. But police were not amused. He received a ticket for his effort.

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