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Show of holiday brilliance

A St. Petersburg home's Christmas display is a finalist in a contest on the Today show.

By CURTIS KRUEGER
Published December 14, 2005


[Times photo: Lara Cerri]
Ted and Kim Kresge's St. Petersburg house at 2719 Oakdale St. is locally renowned for its Christmas display that includes more than half a million lights, computer-operated tree decorations, several polar bears and a "fiber optic forest."

Lights on
Have you decorated your home with outdoor lights for the holiday season?
Yes, it's not the holidays without ourdoor lights
No, we keep our decorations inside.
No, we don't decorate at all during the holidays.

Click here to vote on the NBC Today Show website.

Ted Kresge is asking for your vote, but he's not running for office.

His house is.

Ted and Kim Kresge's St. Petersburg house is locally renowned for an elaborate Christmas display that includes more than half a million Christmas lights, computer-operated Christmas tree decorations and a "fiber optic forest."

But on Tuesday, the Kresges' lights shone across the country. Their home was featured on NBC's Today show, one of three finalists in a nationwide competition called "Al be home for Christmas."

Voters can decide online who has "America's most holiday-spirited home." The other finalists are in Pembroke Pines and Kill Devil Hills, N.C. Results will be announced Thursday. Then on Friday, Today show weatherman Al Roker will broadcast from the front yard of the winner's home.

Hundreds of houses were nominated, and Ted Kresge said he was quite surprised to learn his home was a finalist. "Astonished' would be the correct word," he said Tuesday.

The Kresges began decorating their home at 2719 Oakdale St. in 1977, and the extravaganza has grown steadily since then. New items this year include several polar bears, computer-operated lights on the Christmas tree, and the fiber optic trees, one of which has more than 150,000 lights.

That last one impressed even Kresge.

"It's an eye-stopper," he said. "It's hard to describe. It's just beautiful."

To vote for the Kresge home, go to the Today show Web site at http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3032633

[Last modified December 14, 2005, 00:13:09]


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