Norfolk neighborhood spreads holiday cheer with decorated stop signs

Posted at 4:37 PM, Dec 17, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. — If you stop in the Bayview area of Norfolk, you might be surprised at what you find.

Christmas decorations are going up in the neighborhood, but you won’t find them on houses or in yards. They’re hanging in one of the unlikeliest of places—stops signs.

“I love walking around and seeing all of them throughout — it brings me joy,” explained Chris Barco.

Bill Rosenbaum’s handcrafted metal work is on display at Grove Avenue and Broadfield Road.

“It gives me joy that I can spread my joy throughout the neighborhood, and [when] somebody stops at the sign and looks and just smiles, that’s great,” Rosenbaum said.

His neighbor, Margaret Fleet, decorated the sign on the other side of their street.

“It made me feel good, and I know a couple of people have told me it made them feel good, too,” Fleet said.

On Cape View Avenue and East Bayview Boulevard, Terri Sawyer had a hand in embellishing the four-way stop.

"This time of year, and under these conditions, I think whatever we can do to bring a little joy to people's lives is great,” Sawyer said.

More than a dozen signs in Bayview are adorned with tinsel and garlands, but it all started with Amy Van Etten, who got the idea from her hometown.

“We are just in a really tough time right now, and so whatever will bring a smile to your face, just do it,” Van Etten said.

Related: Retired Hampton veteran continues tradition of lighting up community with Christmas display

There’s no stopping this neighborhood from banding together during this difficult year, and they’re encouraging others to spread the holiday cheer.

“I’m glad to be a part of everyone who did it, and hopefully we can encourage the whole City of Norfolk to do it,” Rosenbaum said.