Mount Vernon Matters

Collingwood Lights Light Up Sky and Spirits

(Photo: Steve Hunt)

Alexandria, VA – Last year ended on a high note for many in Mount Vernon and beyond when the lights went back on at 1601 Collingwood Road.

Thousands of lights.

After several years of hiatus, Bill and Jan Vaughan’s home was ablaze again, drawing crowds of excited viewers lining the street on the nights before Christmas.

The show was not hooked up to music this year, but that didn’t lessen the magic of the extensive display that had been the pride of Mount Vernon and the 2018 winner of “The Great Christmas Light Fight” on ABC-TV.

For over 25 years, Vaughan produced glitzier and glitzier wondrous displays of animated Christmas figures, attracting a dedicated band of followers who made this home a “must-do” at Christmas.

“All of this I make; it’s all been welded by me, then lights have been put on by me,” he said in 2018.

On Nov. 4, 2020, Vaughan fell off a high ladder. The impact drove his ankle into his lower leg, and he ended up face down in the creek running across his property.

Numerous operations and complications ensued, and his 2020 Facebook page showed a small decorated tree on a wheelchair while outside the yard was dark. Continuing health problems caused cancellations in 2021 and 2022, but Vaughan did not give up on giving us all big smiles and cause for joy at the end of a tumultuous year for all.

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Marlene Miller

Marlene Miller has lived in, and written about, Mount Vernon for decades. She raised her family here, her two children graduating from area public schools. After retiring from over 16 years of publishing her own newspaper, The Zebra has tempted her back to community journalism

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