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Final Year for Sarasota Christmas Wonderland?

The Grieff family has shown a large Christmas light and ornament display for about 20 years, but they need to see if the community wants it to continue.

Sarasota's unofficial Christmas Wonderland may have its final run this year.

The Grieff family on Center Ring Road, off of 59th Street, has filled their yard and garage full of Christmas lights, inflatables, figurines and more along a lighted path on their property since 1997. Before that, they displayed decorations at their former home in the Tellevast neighborhood.

However, this year has been a down year in attendance, as the family collects donations to offset the electricity bill, Neal Grieff said.

"I've been saying it for the last 20 years that I'm not going to do it again, but some how, some way, it ends up coming back," he said. "It's been a disappoinment as far as the amount of people coming this year."

He estimates the electric bill costs $15 to $20 a day. 

"I've been doing this here since 1997 and not once has it covered the electric bill," he said, but usually that doesn't deter the family because they come close. But this year only a couple hundred folks have showed up.

The lights will be displayed through Dec. 31, he said.

"All we ask is keep peace with the neighbors and the way you enter is the way you leave," he said.

To visit the house, turn onto 59th Street off of Honroe Avenue, south of University Parkway, and turn left at the end of the street and continue all the way back to the light display.

If you think you have an awesome light display like the Grieff family, enter in Patch's

Marilyn S. Billib December 25, 2011 at 06:40 PM
I did not realize that you had moved. I have missed seeing your lovely display that was on Tallevast Road. I'm so happy to learn of your new location. more publcity is needed. Perhaps you can contact the newspaper for a story in the Ticket. I'm sure TV stations ABC 7 & SNN 6 would help. Thank you & Merry Christmas. Marilyn S. Billib
Lainie December 29, 2011 at 03:56 AM
Myself and 3 friends visited tonight. We were all delighted with the display and felt like we were children entering a Christmas wonderland. This is sure to thrill children and adults, so please support by visiting and by your financial contribution! It would be a shame to see the final year for this display. Thanks to the Grieff family for all their work in making this possible.
Charles Schelle (Editor) November 27, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Anyone know if the Grieff family will put up their lights this year or if they've pulled the plug for good?
Charles Schelle (Editor) December 14, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Just received a message that the Grieff's Christmas Wonderland is back for 2012!

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