By Adam Armour/The Itawamba County Times
This is part of a continuing series of articles on Christmas traditions in Northeast Mississippi.
By ADAM ARMOUR
Itawamba County Times
FULTON – In Itawamba County, Jerry Stubblefield might just be the king of Christmas, though it’s a title he’d likely not claim.
As is said, “heavy is the head that wears the crown.” In Stubblefield’s case, that crown has been crafted with thousands of little lights.
“I enjoy the Christmas season and what it represents,” he said, then reconsidered. “Well, yeah, I guess you can say I’m a big Christmas person. That’s the time I can go buy myself anything I want and blame it on Santa Claus.”
Three weeks before Thanksgiving, Stubblefield begins hauling out his Christmas decorations and setting them up around his Rogers Lane home. Each of his annual displays features dozens of hand-constructed lighted characters, animated light patterns and thousands of lights. Inside his home, there are a total of eight fully-decorated Christmas trees.
The display takes weeks to set up, sometimes utilizing as many as eight people and a crane borrowed from JESCO. The lights have their own breaker box, and, once lit, make his home shine like a supernova. It can be seen from several streets over.
Stubblefield began this annual project more than 30 years ago. Now, trips past Stubblefield’s home have become a local Christmas tradition on par with attending the Main Street parade. An average of 200 cars pass by his house each night to look at the display, compared to the 40 that pass his way when the lights aren’t up. In total, he’s estimated more than 6,000 people have already swung by this year to check them out.
Each year, he tries to add a new figure or two, just to keep things interesting.