Let there be light! Norford's vision realized
If the Perkins are Ruckersville royalty when it comes to holiday lights, then Jeff Norford is their Charlottesville equivalent: he's a driven man, a man with a vision, a man for whom even 20,000 lights are not enough.
"I've been doing it for 10 years," says Norford, who was inspired to begin lighting his Moore's Creek-area property by his godkids.
"They told me they wanted more lights each year," he explains. "I got carried away."
Last year, "I kind of ran out of power," he says. This year, lack of power won't be a problem, thanks to a standby generator he's ordered. Next year, however, he plans on a more permanent solution to his ever-growing need for juice.
"I need to upgrade my service panel to 300 amps," he says, explaining that his brother, an electrician, comes and approves his display for safety each year.
Norford spares no expense when it comes to creating an over-the-top theme park experience.
"I've spent $2,000 this year alone on materials," he says. That includes candy canes– he gave out 4,000 last year and expects to give out more this year– and a new Santa suit he'll don each night beginning December 1.
In addition to blow-up Santas, reindeer, and snowmen, Norford, who delivers the Hook to newsstands each week, even pays illuminated tribute to this newspaper.
It's all in a season's work for Norford, who says he'll keep making his lights bigger and better in years to come.
"I'm just a big kid," he laughs. "I love Christmas as much as everybody else does."
As of November 20, the lights were already on at 1307 Mountain View Street. Directions from Downtown: Take Monticello Avenue to left on Carlton Avenue. Go one block to right on Monticello Road. Just before Moore's Creek restaurant, turn left on Mountain View Street.
Jeff Norford, circa 2004
PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER