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Local couple has amazing holiday display benefitting area shelter

Posted at 7:00 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 19:00:56-05

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - A home on Woodland Drive in Chesapeake features the works: A wide variety of inflatables featuring your favorite characters and countless lights.

Dalton Williford admits it's a lot.

"When I have them all up, it's over 100,000 lights... when everything is totally up."

And when you ask what it does to his power bill?

"Whew! We're not discussing that," he says with a laugh.

Williford said he uses about five miles of extension cords to make the whole thing work!

Dalton and his wife, Carroll, have been doing this for about 11 year,s and he admits they don't have everything up.

"This is not all of it - this is only about a third of it. We cut it back this year because of the COVID."

Yes, when you see this sprawling holiday display, it may be hard to believe that this is a scaled back version. But due to COVID-19, they're trying to minimize crowds, and they encouraged fans on their Facebook page to enjoy the lights from the street.

Prior to the pandemic, the Willifords say there would be 40 to 50 people milling about each night. And when they would have a visit from Santa, sometimes hundreds of people would come out.

It would normally average about 600 spectators a week, so Carroll says it evolved into a fundraiser for the Portsmouth Humane Society.

"A lot of people would come up and ask us, 'Could we donate? Could we donate?' and we would never take donations. And then we have a friend who volunteers there, and she said, 'If you don't want to take donations, why don't you take it and hand it over to us?' and so we started doing it six, seven years ago."

They believe over the years, their donations have totaled more than $17,000.

Related: Local doctor taking action for his patients and the rest of the community

For those reasons, News 3 presented the couple with a People Taking Action award, plus a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

They were very grateful and honored and said the gift card would be donated to the Portsmouth Humane Society.

For information how you can donate to the Willifords' Christmas fund benefiting the Portsmouth Humane Society, click here.

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, click here.