KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (WNCT) – “Once you come over the hill I feel like you’re entering somewhere different,” said Caitlin Liebno, the 21 year old granddaughter of Jim and Nancy Poulos, owners of the Outer Banks Christmas House.
“You could see the glow from the Wright Memorial Bridge,” added Jim Poulos.
The Outer Banks isn’t normally known as a winter wonderland.
“It looks beautiful and it has a lot of Christmas stuff,” said 6 year old Lilly Sojda, who was visiting the Outer Banks with her family from Virginia.
“We’re still spreading the joy,” said Poulos.
The Poulos family has been spreading joy with a larger than life Christmas display at their Kill Devil Hills home for nearly 40 years. It’s a display that is lovingly known as the Outer Banks Christmas House.
“One of them had mentioned that this was here when we told them we were coming down so we decided to come check it out,” said Suzanne Sojda, who was visiting the Outer Banks from Virginia.
The display is well known in the Outer Banks, but it’s also gotten some national attention.
“HGTV,” said Poulos. “It started out with the NBC Today show. I just told Al, I’ve got some of the best lights you can see in all this country. I said I think they’re pretty cool. You might think they’re pretty hot. Come see me.”
That was in 2005 when this display was voted The Best Decorated Home in America. That attention isn’t the reason the Poulos family does this though.
“My wife and I both when we grew up were in military families,” said Poulos. “Christmas meant a lot to both of us. It was a family thing. We just started doing it. Really we were doing it for our own children and didn’t realize that they were going to come around and see all of the lights.”
One of the great things about the display is the fact that the fun doesn’t stop outside. Inside the home, there is a room that Poulos calls the family room. It features a tree made up entirely of stuffed animals that Poulos’ kids and grandkids grew up with.
“It’s nice to be able to be out here and help them and actually be a part of it, actually putting it together,” said Liebno.
“As long as the Lord gives me enough health to do it, I’ve got the children that can back me up and I honestly feel that so many people get so much joy out of it I don’t want to let them down,” said Poulos.
“They want to be able to make everybody else smile and that’s part of the reason they keep doing this every year,” added Liebno.
“This country is hurting right now, and we need a lot of joy,” said Poulos. “I know we see over a million visitors.”
Joy to the world or at least to the million plus who have experienced the magic for themselves.
The Outer Banks Christmas House is located in the 600 block of Ocean Acres Drive in Kill Devil Hills, NC.
Click here to go to the Outer Banks Christmas House Facebook page.
Pierce is always looking for interesting and unique people and places to visit. If you have an idea, send him an email or a message on Facebook or Twitter.