Editor choice

Editor’s Choice in Lake County

Adam Barr won the 2021 Daily Herald Editor’s Choice Award for his holiday decorations in Lake County. His home is at 571 Valmont Lane in Volo.

Q: How long have you been decorating your house like this?

A: “Not too long, actually. We moved in in 2012 and we were normal just putting a few wicks on the house and a snowman in the yard. As our family grew, we added one little more from year to year, but really expanded in 2016.

Q: What made you go all out for your decorations?

A: I guess my dad. He and his grandmother passed away in 2016, the year the Cubs finally won the World Series. Both were lifelong die-hard Cubs fans who had waited their entire lives to finally see them win it all. None of them had the chance to see him. My dad was close though, passing away just before the playoffs started.

So, as they started to pick up some playoff wins, I decided to “fly the W” (in lights) on the roof rather than just a flag, so he could see it. The World Series ended in early November, but I wasn’t ready to take it off, so I tried to find a way to fit it into the Christmas display that year.

It was a huge success. Since then we have tried to be more creative and give the neighborhood a better display every year.

Q: How many hours does it take to install the screen?


A: I’m losing count. We try to do something a little different every year, so I’ll be spending a lot of time throughout the season tweaking it. It’s a bit of work, but well worth it with so many kids living in nearby neighborhoods.

We see families driving by and letting their children out and running through the arches. Some stop and take family photos with the display as a backdrop. A couple left us little notes…so it’s a very rewarding investment in time and hopefully creating lasting memories for our four children.

Q: How many string lights are involved?

A: If we’re talking about individual bulbs, we’re at about 13,500. Including 65 blow molds, 13 snowflakes, a few wreaths, and a giant Rudolf perched on the roof overlooking everything.

Q: How much does your electricity bill go up in December?

A: LEDs are a lifesaver. Once we went from incandescent to all LED, it’s really not that different from our typical AC power bill in the summer.

Q: What do your neighbors think of your display?

A: Those who comment or drive by are very supportive and complimentary.

And we had a strong turnout for kids sending their Santa letters to the North Pole with the Advocate Children’s Hospital Toy Donation Chimney.

All the others? Well, no one has called the cops or HOA yet, so I’ll take it!