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An explosion of Christmas pizazz

  • People look at Christmas decorations at a house on Walnut Court in Santa Rosa, Dec. 8, 2011.

A motorized Snoopy doffs the green fedora on a snowman's head, prompting Frosty's bow tie to spin and his orange carrot nose to light up.

It's part of the scene in Daryl Scanagatta's front yard on Walnut Court in Santa Rosa, where Christmas cheer abounds this year in a blaze of lights, music and action.

There are elves, toys, trees, sledding bears, Santa Clauses, a Muppet band and plenty of lights packed into the small yard, picket fence, house and roof for Scanagatta's display, titled "Santa's Workshop," a handyman's labor of love for the past 25 years.

With few exceptions, Scanagatta, a retired UPS driver, handcrafted everything out of plywood and plastic, starting out modestly and expanding every season.

"I'm just about out of room," said Scanagatta, who this year started assembling his display just after Halloween. It takes the equivalent of two weeks' fulltime work, with some help from friends, to set it all up.

Walnut Court, a dead-end street off Sonoma Avenue that qualifies as one of the area's holiday bright spots, has more than half a dozen ambitiously decorated homes.

Crowds flock to the court, making egress and ingress a bit tricky.

"We don't go out after 6," said Nancy Conway, a neighbor. "It's fun. I enjoy it."

The best way to see Walnut Court's Christmas lights is to park along Sonoma Avenue and walk in, residents say.

Tammi Jarvinen, who works at a dental office on Sonoma Avenue, brought her kids by for an early look last week.


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