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City of Troy releases map of best holiday-decorated homes

By: Andy Kozlowski | Troy Times | Published December 19, 2020

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TROY — A global pandemic has nixed many traditions this year, but one that remains intact is people decorating their homes for the holidays, and the city of Troy is recognizing the best setups.

This year, the creativity on display was so astonishing that officials decided to discard the usual award categories and instead give 53 “Best of the Best” awards, and close to 80 honorable mentions — all of which have been compiled on a map so people can find every one.

The map can be found at troymi.gov; scroll down the main page.

The city describes this year’s selection of holiday displays as running the gamut, from musical light shows on Forest Trail to an entire neighborhood of light tunnels in the Shallowdale subdivision, off of Rochester Road, which includes Clarke Drive and Reilly Drive.

Residents are asked to be on the lookout for such details as Santa’s mailbox to the North Pole, located at a home on Tyler Street, and the Make-A-Wish displays on Fairfax Drive, as well as gorgeous light displays on Heatherwood Drive. Eagle-eyed viewers may even spy Clark Griswold of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” fame standing atop a roof somewhere in the city.

“This year, people went over and above. I don’t know if it had to do with COVID and people being home more, but we’ve never had this many winners. It’s just fabulous,” said Cindy Stewart, the community affairs director for Troy. “And this is the first year we’ve done this map — we used to make a list of the addresses so people could go out themselves, but the map itself is new, and we’re very excited that people can take their phone, make some hot cocoa, put on Christmas music and take the family out to enjoy all of the lights. With school break starting soon, it makes for a nice family outing.”

Ethan Baker, the mayor of Troy, said there were a record number of entries this year, which he said shows the community’s spirit.

“I have seen some truly exceptional light displays,” Baker said in an email. “I have heard from many people how important it has been for them to have this outdoor and socially distant way to celebrate the holidays — driving around our city with their families, enjoying the beauty and hard work at the hands of our residents.  It is a great reminder of what a wonderful community we have, and also how many neighbors have come together to have joint displays — I’m talking to you, residents of Shallowdale, Reilly, and Clarke!”

“A very special thank you to Community Affairs Director Cindy Stewart and Community Affairs Associate Amy McKaig,” he added, “for keeping this great Troy tradition going, for visiting all the homes to judge the decorations, and for putting together that incredible map for a self-guided tour!”

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