WADSWORTH--“Just like the movie, 250 strands of lights, 100 individual bulbs per strand for a grand total of 25-thousand imported Chinese twinkle lights,” say Wadsworth Griswold House owner Greg Osterland.
The Osterland’s yard is packed with props from the movie, including Santa and his 8 tiny reindeer, a burnt out chair...and that famous saucer sled..from one of the most memorable scenes in the 1989 multi-generational holiday classic..
“My son is 3-years-old and loves the movie and asks to see it daily. Sometimes we actually oblige. But the fact that its now going from one generation to the next to the next really says a lot about the movie itself,” says Osterland.
The display continues to expand in the six years since it began.
This year they added mannequins of movie characters Clark and Rusty.
No worries about a city-wide power outage at this home, located at 173 Duane Lane in Wadsworth.
Greg Osterland made a green choice, using LED bulbs, individually checked and plugged into one outlet—just like the movie..
Surprisingly their electric bill is only an extra $30 dollars a month.
Greg's obsession with the cult classic began as a young kid.
“We were going to church, we were doing the Christmas Eve service and then we were going to my aunts and uncles to watch Christmas Vacation. And it ballooned from there because we started reciting the lines but we would actually pause the movie, draw names out of a hat and whoever drew the name had to get up and recite it or else they weren't eating,” says Osterland.
Although Greg's wife of 12 years Rachel admits she hadn't seen the movie before the two started dating, she's a Christmas Vacation fanatic as well.
The Osterland's say the fanfare has grown along with the display.
“First year we had a little bit of press and the second year was the 25th anniversary and there was even more press, but this year's been a lot. So its just a little bit more to take in, but we're taking it in stride,” says Rachel Osterland.
Onlookers traveling near and far say they can't help but be impressed by the owners' efforts.
“Lot of lights....that's pretty neat. Took a lot of work.” “It really looks like the Griswold house. There's a lot of lights there.” “The boys love it. I've been bringing them here since they were little babies.”
In addition to spreading some holiday cheer, and a nostalgic trip...the Osterland's are also reaching out to visitors for donations to a cause that's close to their hearts...the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“Basically gunk forms in the lungs, on the pancreas and liver. The average lifespan when I was born was around the late teens. With all the therapies and medicines that they have now, the average life-span is 37. really the most important drugs are on the horizon in the next 3 to five years we can absolutely looking at a cure that I could never even imagine would be possible.,” says Greg Osterland.
For now, Greg’s health allowed to put up the lights with his family and a neighbor, who started in October.
And in May, he and Rachel plan to participate in the Great Strides walk to benefit cystic fibrosis research. They’re taking donations—you can scan the QR code on site or donate online.
100-percent of the proceeds go towards Great Strides research.