By MICHELLE MARCHANTE
The spirit and joy of Christmas lived on this past year in a house located in Plantation, Florida after the family in residence won a lawsuit the city placed against them for their Christmas display.
Back in October, Broward Circuit Court judge Marina Garcia-Wood ruled in Mark and Kathy Hyatt’s favor, deciding that the city failed to provide enough evidence to support that the Hyatt’s display was a public nuisance and a safety hazard, ending a battle that, according to the Sun Sentinel, had been going on for years.
“My family and I are gratified by the wise ruling made by Judge Marina Garcia-Wood which vindicated our family,” Mark Hyatt wrote on the family’s Extreme Christmas website.
“She sat patiently for four days and heard testimony about how no one has ever been injured while attending our holiday display,” he wrote. “We have had thousands of people, including hundreds of Plantation families come and celebrate the Joy of the Holiday Season with us.”
Since 1990, the Hyatt’s have decorated their home for the holidays and through the years, their decorated house on Northwest 14th Street has not only transformed into one of South Florida’s largest Christmas displays, but also a South Florida Christmas tradition itself.
But the city, the Sentinel reports, had wanted the Hyatt’s to scale back their display or completely end it, claiming that it posed both a nuisance to the neighbors and also posed a safety threat. The city spent $427,002.09 on the case, claiming that the display brought traffic, noise and trash to the neighborhood.
The Hyatt’s display starts operating the day right after Thanksgiving and includes more than 200,000 lights, a movie screen, a 30-foot-tall tree, a 20-foot Ferris wheel for stuffed animals, snow and one of the largest residential nativity scenes to exist.
This year, however, the family wrote on their website that their display would be “a bit smaller this year,” and would “only be enjoyed from outside of the gates,” due to the time and effort they had to invest into the lawsuit and their involvement in Mark Hyatt’s political campaign to have him elected into the city’s council.
The display operated this year until Wednesday, Dec. 28.
MICHELLE MARCHANTE is a guest contributor for The Buzz Insider and the Opinion Director at FIUSM. She is a writer, reader and filmmaking enthusiast. Currently, she is studying to get her degree in Broadcast Journalism and is also working on her second novel. Connect with her on Twitter @TweetMichelleM
Featured image by Michelle Marchante/The Buzz Insider