WILMINGTON — If you’re out driving around to look at the seasonal lights this weekend, don’t be afraid to holler “Merry Christmas” on Buckhorn Court.
The holiday is a weeks-long event for the families living in the Courtney Pines neighborhood cul-de-sac located in the Ogden area of Wilmington. Each year, they come together to light-up their street with a spectacular display of Christmas lights, music, outdoor fires and, even holiday-themed movies display projected on a home.
And this weekend, Santa Claus will make a special appearance to visit the children on Buckhorn Court before he takes flight on Christmas Eve. It’s become an area of Courtney Pines that is frequented by hundreds searching for the best Christmas lights.
“There’s nine houses here. And those nine houses have changed over the years, as far as who lives in them. But it really hasn’t changed the way we go about celebrating Christmas,” Buckhorn Court resident Arnold Carr said. “And we like for people to know that it’s really okay to say ‘Merry Christmas’ here. This is why we’re here; for that celebration.”
Carr, who has had a hand in organizing the street’s Christmas lights for about 16 years, said he’s counted more than 500 cars in one night that have circled the cul-de-sac to catch the display.
Lights are up by Thanksgiving weekend, and the residents continue to decorate more throughout the following weeks. The neighbors have come up with some creative ways to reach the treetops and cover the homes this year.
All the neighbors chip in to order a trailer boom-lift over the long Thanksgiving weekend and decorate, rain or shine. Another neighbor used a sling-shot this year to string his lights up tall pine trees in his back yard.
“We do it as a group. And there are five of us that will jump in and … try to get around on the tops of the houses and the trees we want to do,” Carr said.
Each family, including the 14 children that live on the street, help decorate for holidays. For the past 12 years, they’ve managed to decorate every home on the cul-de-sac. Though this year, a resident recently moved and was not able to decorate the home before the holidays, Carr said.
Eric Young, another resident of Buckhorn Court, said traffic through the street is steadily increasing through the street as it gets closer to Christmas. It’s very likely those who ride around the street will catch Young, Carr and their families, relaxing by the outdoor fire.
“We like to move our cars so we can see people driving through. It’s not uncommon for people stop, walk, and take pictures. We’ll watch kids sit in the driveway to watch movies. We’ve had people stop and walk up to the fire pit as we’re sitting around. We tend to gather here or at Arnold’s house around the fire,” Eric Young said.
“We tell people all the time that if the fire is going, you’re welcome,” Carr added.
The Cordell family, Breedlove family, the Irving Family, the Carr family, the Young family, the Smith family and “Nana Jean,” have all done their part to decorate the lots.
For the people of Buckhorn Court, this year’s Christmas is also a special time of remembrance, as they recently lost their neighbor Peggy DiFulvio, Missy Young said.
“She was the principle at Saint Marks for years. But she made sure the night before she died her lights were done. They wheeled her to the front door, so she could see that the guys had put her lights up. And she past away the next morning,” Missy Young said.
This year they are dedicating their Christmas and memories to her.
Catch the display and the people of Buckhorn Court when the lights come on after dark. The weekend of Christmas marks their main celebration. Eric Young said they’ll be around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
To check out a longer tour video of the Buckhorn Court Christmas display, click here.