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SCV World Champion of Lights

Canterwood ties for street crown; Hallak is best single home

Posted: December 15, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 15, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Canterwood Drive/Cross Creek in Saugus tied with six-time champion Wakefield Court in Saugus to earn a share of the SCV Best Street title.

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It’s the time of year when the Santa Clarita Valley is ablaze with the twinkling joy of the season.

On Dec. 8 The Signal’s intrepid band of Holiday Light Tour judges, including myself; Jason Schaff, Signal executive editor; Vince Johnson, multimedia managing director; editorial staffers Jim Walker, Jana Adkins and Luke Money; and advertising account executive Alesia Humphries ventured out on the brightly lit byways of the SCV to judge the 18th annual World Champion of Lights.

We had a wonderful evening judging five streets and 24 single home entries. We ran late this year and some folks had turned off their lights by the time we arrived. In fairness we ventured out again during the past week to score the homes we missed.

The judges appreciated the warm welcomes we received during our tour. We even met Santa!

After combining the online vote totals and the judges scores the SCV World Champion of Lights titles are awarded to:

Best Home

#1 Eli Hallak

25086 Cotton Blossom Lane, Stevenson Ranch

The judges and the voters at voted this home the 2012 SCV World Champion of Lights.

“This was a delightful home with super-friendly homeowners,” said Judge Jana.

This Christmas light wonderland features more than 30,000 lights that dance to the music from 107.7 FM. There’s a full size Santa sleigh with lighted Rudolph, a merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, Christmas train and much more holiday cheer.

In addition, in the true SCV tradition of “giving back,” the children of the house are selling hot chocolate and cookies to benefit the Children’s Hunger Fund.

“It’s like a winter amusement park,” said Judge Alesia.

Judge Jason thinks this street could be a contender if a few more homes join in the holiday fun.

“Watch out Wakefield and Ash courts,” said Judge Jason.

Best Street - tie

Canterwood/Cross Creek, Saugus

Wakefield Court, Saugus

The judges were astonished at the beautiful display that stretched from home to home along Canterwood Drive and Cross Creek in Saugus.

“Just call it Christmas Crossroads” said Judge Jason. “Every part of this cul de sac is enveloped in holiday lights and cheer. It is a well-coordinated and classy effort.”

Judge Vince said “This is a must-see Christmas showcase in Saugus.”

“It’s what you hope the North Pole looks like,” said Judge Alesia.

Wakefield Court in Saugus is always a “show stopper.” With 39 of the street’s 41 homes decorated in a blaze of light and custom creations it’s easy to understand why the street has tied for its seventh World Championship of Lights title.

“There are many words to describe Wakefield Court,” said Judge Luke. “But the one word that leapt to mind was ‘amazing.’”

Wakefield Court continues its long tradition of giving back to the SCV.

If you visit Wakefield Court, make sure you leave a donation for the SCV Bridges to Home homeless shelter at one end of the street and bring a toy to place in the train car at the other end of the street to benefit the children of the Boys & Girls Club of SCV.

More homes

#2 Todd Tisdell

30523 Deed Ave., Castaic

The two-time grand champion still brings it with more than 40,000 lights synchronized to music. The “Believe” show runs for 12 minutes and includes dancing trees, skiing snowmen and a full size gingerbread house.

“This is a magical experience, like going to a great family movie and being entertained and emotionally fulfilled,” said Judge Jana.

“It’s better than Disneyland,” said Judge Jason. “No lines.”

Judge Jim noted that the family collects donations for the Preeclampsia Foundation.

#3 Tie: In memory of Joel Frost

21633 Masterson Court, Saugus

The Hobbs Family

26439 Misty Ridge Place, Canyon Country

Third place ended in a tie. We had lots of ties this year.

When I heard that Joel Frost had died in August, my heart broke. As the longest serving Holiday Light Tour judge I remembered Joel’s excitement each year as he showed off the latest new addition to his display. The light tour won’t be the same without his enthusiasm and genuine joy of Christmas.

His family decided to mount his elaborate display in his memory this year. A few items are missing, but one hardly notices amid the splendor of this fun fantasyland.

The home of the Hobbs Family features more than 30,000 lights, hand carved and painted figures along with a “hidden holiday Mickey Mouse.” Find Mickey as you enjoy a holiday sing-along in your car by tuning to FM 107.9. A 1963 VW ragtop Bug is festively decorated in the driveway.

“This is a festive, well done and energetic display,” said Judge Luke. “This house is fully loaded.”

#4 The Ferguson Family

27324 Chesterfield Drive, Valencia

No dancing lights, but Disney favorites Mickey, Minnie, Tigger, Tinkerbell, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore are on hand to entertain.

Let your kids out of the car to dance with the singing snowman.

Chesterfield Drive is a previous Street Grand Champion in 1999 and 2000.

“It looks like it is returning to its previous glory,” said Judge Jim.

#5 Tie: The McDiffetts

24225 Vista Ridge Drive, Newhall

The Winchesters

28439 Alder Peak Ave., Canyon Country

The judges always look forward to the McDiffetts’ Reindeer Chow, but also their decorating artistry.

Every year, they bring something new and different to the tour.

This year, it’s a salute to the marching bands of SCV high schools.

“Gives it a great local touch,” said Judge Jason. “Very unique and creative.”

The home of Ann and Tom Winchester is a feast for the eyes.

“Barely a square inch of this home is not covered with lights,” said Judge Jana.

This completely unique display with homemade animatronics is more than 15 years in the making.

The display features more than 25,000 lights with Ferris wheel, ski lift, hot air balloons, a fire truck and police helicopter.

“Everything is moving. I love it,” said Judge Jason. “Great attention to detail.”

Tom Winchester made everything by hand.

“I just wanted to find out if I could build something that moved,” he said.

#6 Maddux Family

19121 Dalton St.,


This display includes more than 40,000 lights, 20 independent controllers and 1,400 plus computer channels. The light show runs every 15 minutes. It’s a small cul de sac street so you are advised to park on a nearby adjoining street and walk.

Bring food for the Help the Children collection box.

“This is quite the production with fun synchronized music,” said Judge Jason.

More streets

Ash Court, Saugus

A three-time grand champion Ash Court now celebrates Christmas all year courtesy of the red poinsettias painted on the street.

“We decided to paint the poinsettias on the street permanently,” said an Ash Court resident.

“Ash Court is like Wakefield Court without the chaos,” said Judge Jana.

Each home reflects a sentiment for the season, “peace, believe, spirit, etc.” Make sure to make a donation to Help the Children.

Essex Place, Valencia

Can you find Rudolph? Essex Place has a genuine sense of community and a great fun atmosphere.

The two-time champions haven’t lost their sense of fun and wonder.

A gaggle of girls singing Christmas carols greeted the Holiday Light Tour when we arrived on Essex Place. That was just a taste of what awaited us.

“You have to visit this street to feel the vibe,” said Judge Jim.

Alyssum Lane, Canyon Country

Eight houses on this small cul de sac are covered with colorful lights and lawn ornaments.

“It’s great to see neighbors get together to create such a festive holiday display,” said Judge Jana. “Good first year effort!”

Luminaria Display

For the eighth consecutive year, the residents of Clearidge Drive, Mansfield Court, Essex Place, and Meraweather Place in Valencia will host a Luminaria Display. The display will run 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Dec. 15 and 16, as well as from Dec. 22 through Dec. 25.

It’s a true display of community good will.




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