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Festive Seniors Build Christmas Tree Made of LEGOs and a Fireplace With Santa’s Feet Sticking Out

in People 125 views

A LEGO-loving couple have created a bit of festive cheer by making an entire wall, fireplace and tree from the plastic blocks in their living room.

For the last 28 years Mike Addis and his wife Catherine Weightman have built amazing LEGO sculptures each Christmas.

Previous creations include a 21-foot London Bridge and a 12-foot replica of Ely cathedral.

Inspired by extension work being done on their house in Cambridgeshire, they decided to cover a wall in their living room with a LEGO replica, complete with Christmas tree, festive decorations, and a fireplace with Santa’s feet sticking out.

There also can be found LEGO mince pies, a LEGO matchbox, and LEGO candles that light up on the mantelpiece.

But apart from the incredible ingenuity needed to create the piece, it’s had the side effect of reducing their heating bills through the energy expenditure of stacking bricks all evening.

Addis said they committed between two to four hours each evening for two months to complete it.

“It’s quite a social thing and it keeps us warm too,” said Adids. “You can’t believe building LEGO which doesn’t involve a lot of movement would, but you could actually switch the heating off.”

“It’s all the getting up and down and fiddling around with the pieces.”

“It’s amazing even in this cold weather to not have to put the wood burner on because we’re warm enough.”

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A Christmas to remember: Blizzard continues Sunday

in Local News/weather 127 views

WATERTOWN — A lake-effect snowstorm is hovering over the city Christmas morning. Large snowflakes blown by the wind are accumulating at the rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

In the city, main roads are largely well plowed, but side streets have several inches of snow.

A travel ban for Jefferson County remains in effect. Drivers are expected to stay off the streets. A state of emergency continues.

During a reporter’s trip down Washington Street to Public Square just before 11 a.m. a few private vehicles were seen along with a police car and an ambulance.

Visibility on Washington Street is just a few feet. Street lights appear to be floating in a white cloud, beaming red, yellow and green.

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Meteorologists: Christmas weekend storm system ‘once in a generation type of event’

in Local News/weather 113 views

WATERTOWN — An “incredibly powerful” winter storm system also described by meteorologists as a “once in a generation type of event” is forecast to move through the area over the Christmas holiday weekend.

High winds, rain, snow and lake-effect snow accompanied by dramatically dropping temperatures are expected to impact the region starting Friday and continue through at least Sunday, Christmas Day.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Buffalo said in a forecast discussion Tuesday that “Some of the parameters of this intense storm are climatologically ‘off the charts,’” including the potential for record-setting low barometric pressures.

The service said the deepening low-pressure system moving into the area on Friday will “easily” meet the definition of a bombogenesis in which atmospheric pressure drops at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. The phenomenon, also known as a “bomb cyclone,” is relatively rare in the lower Great Lakes, according to meteorologists.

After uneventful weather Wednesday, the service says conditions will begin to deteriorate late Thursday. Thursday’s temperatures are expected to be in 40s, resulting in most precipitation falling that day as rain, although a wintry mix could be seen in some locations as temperatures begin to drop.

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Watertown kicks off holiday season with tree lighting and parade

in Entertainment/Event 112 views

WATERTOWN — The city officially kicked off the holiday season with its annual Christmas parade and tree lighting ceremony Friday night, beginning with the tree lighting in front of Watertown’s City Hall on Washington Street.

Unlike previous years, when the parade was held on Public Square, this year’s parade went down Washington Street from Winslow to Stone streets.

Rhonda Blackman, who goes to the parade each year, said she prefers the tree lighting in front of City Hall instead of on the square.00

“We thought this was the perfect spot,” she said. “I think the beauty of it speaks for itself.”

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North Country Festival of Trees lights up at Salmon Run Mall

in Event 143 views

WATERTOWN — A North Country Festival of Trees is again lighting up for the holidays this year under the theme “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Viewing dates for the festival are today through the Sunday and Dec. 1 through 4.

There are more than 80 trees in the former Bon-Ton space in the Salmon Run Mall this year, including 11 trees from local schools.

There will also be a number of school music, choral and dance groups performing during the live viewing. The Watertown YMCA has partnered with more than 80 local sponsors to hold the holiday event in person this year, including main sponsors FX Caprara Honda and Apogee Physicians.

April Young, director of resource development and marketing at the Watertown YMCA, said there have been some “incredible trees” decorated this year.

“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers that help at the Festival. There’s a lot of moving pieces that go into putting this on,” she said.

During the live viewing events at the mall, people can purchase raffle tickets to set in front of their favorite school-decorated trees. The tree with the most tickets will receive a prize. Raffle tickets can be purchased at the event and cost $5 per ticket or five tickets for $20. Admission to view the trees is free, but monetary and food donations are welcome.

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Santa coming to Salmon Run Mall

in Entertainment/Event 145 views

WATERTOWN — Santa Claus is coming to town — and the Salmon Run Mall — for the holiday season beginning Dec. 1.

Santa and his elves will be located near the Hobby Lobby end of the mall through Christmas Eve during the following hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. On Christmas Eve, Santa’s hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visits with Santa are always free. Photo packages will be available for purchase.

In conjunction with Cherry Hill Programs and Autism Speaks, the mall will host a circumferential Santa event from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 4.

Individuals with special needs and their families can experience the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa during this event created just for them.

This sensory-friendly event allows families with children of special needs to experience the tradition of a Santa visit in a comforting environment prior to public hours.

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Council agrees to change Watertown’s holiday parade route

in Entertainment/Event 298 views

WATERTOWN — Holiday revelers will be celebrating the city’s Christmas tree lighting with a new parade route in December.

On Monday night, the City Council informally agreed to change the parade route so that it heads down Washington Street, with the tree lighting to take place in front of Watertown City Hall.

The new route will be along Washington Street, from Winslow Street to Stone Street, the same one used during the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Senior city planner Jennifer Voss said the route change was prompted by suggestions that the parade should be longer.

“I’m OK with trying something new,” Councilwoman Sarah V. Compo Pierce said.

The new route will avoid a $4 million streetscape project on Court Street, which will be under construction during the holidays.

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Christmas-Loving Mom Transforms Her Home Into Real-Life Gingerbread House

in People 831 views

A Christmas-mad mom has transformed her home into—a real-life gingerbread house.

67-year-old Virginia Hoffman spent ‘hundreds of hours’ festooning her property into a vision from a fairytale.

Homemade decorations include candy canes, giant gumdrops, peppermint swirls, huge chocolate and wafer cookies, and an oversized gingerbread man.

Interior designer Virginia, of Salt Lake City, Utah, says her daughter, son-in-law, and their children all were involved, as well as her husband, who is a professional artist.

She said, “I live in a neighborhood where most the houses were built in the 1920s and the architecture has a lot of charming characteristics.

“I was looking at my circle of houses and thought how they all looked like gingerbread houses with their various roof lines and windows.

“I began to imagine how I could make some decorations to make my house into a gingerbread house.

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