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Community news: Winners put a lot of heart into holiday decor

December 19, 2012|By Joyce Rudolph
  • Carrie Stewart Nolan won first place in the Residential category of the Burbank Civic Pride's 30th Annual Holiday Decorating Contest.
Carrie Stewart Nolan won first place in the Residential… (Tim Berger/Staff…)

A yard filled with whimsical scenes, from Santa's workshop to old St. Nick riding piggyback on a polar bear, won first place in the Residential category of the 30th annual Holiday Outdoor Decorating Contest.

It was the second time winner Carrie Stewart Nolan entered the competition judged by the city's Civic Pride Committee. She and husband Nicholas Nolan received second place last year. This year her son, Casey Baker, and several of her friends helped set up the decorations that span the front yard at 246 S. Sparks St., and wrap around to Oak Street.

Family friend Liz Holt came up with the idea for Santa's Workshop this year. It has a conveyor belt with toys on it, Stewart Nolan said. John Bara set up the music system that plays carols. Others helping were Tony and Jennifer Beahan and Marvin Walker.

“It's a lot of fun,” Stewart Nolan said. “We just enjoy doing it, and the neighbors and people come by every day and thank us for putting it up. While we were doing it they were like 'Oh, I am so excited. What are you going to do over here?' They are just so joyous about it.”


Other scenes include a group of penguins holding up holiday greetings in Spanish and Santa taking flight in a hot-air balloon.

Many of the decorations were purchased, but some scenes have incorporated items found around the house, Stewart Nolan said. A patio umbrella is open over a table stacked with gifts. A garden swing is filled with plush toys and Santas. A few feet away Santa poses in an old jalopy that Nicholas Nolan uses when he decorates for Halloween.

“I want to move to adding more things that we just create instead of stuff we buy,” Stewart Nolan said.

Next year her husband wants to build a roller coaster that takes up the whole yard, she said.

Winning the Commercial category was the Tower Burbank at 3900 W. Alameda Ave. Property Manager Greg Pineda leaves creative design up to Charlotte Carpenter Lewis, assistant property manager. The building staff — engineers Jim McNamara, Dario Valle, Richard Riddle and Luis Rodelo, and day porters Lilliana Herrera and Agustin Sanchez — install her ideas.

“I couldn't do it without them,” Carpenter Lewis said.

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