Check out 'the mullet of Christmas houses' in Arlington Heights -- and enter our lights contest

  • Scott Longstreet creates a more colorful display in the back to complete what a neighbor calls "The mullet of Christmas houses: Business in the front, party in the back."

      Scott Longstreet creates a more colorful display in the back to complete what a neighbor calls "The mullet of Christmas houses: Business in the front, party in the back." John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Scott Longstreet uses plywood to make yard ornaments for his holiday lights display at 102 S. Walnut Ave. in Arlington Heights. That includes a choir.

      Scott Longstreet uses plywood to make yard ornaments for his holiday lights display at 102 S. Walnut Ave. in Arlington Heights. That includes a choir. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • A church choir made of plywood features figured modeled after family members of its creator, Scott Longstreet of Arlington Heights.

      A church choir made of plywood features figured modeled after family members of its creator, Scott Longstreet of Arlington Heights. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Scott Longstreet's elaborate holiday display outside his Arlington Heights home includes a choir with members modeled after his family members.

      Scott Longstreet's elaborate holiday display outside his Arlington Heights home includes a choir with members modeled after his family members. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Disney character Olaf the snowman spins on a saucer sled powered by an automobile wiper motor in the backyard of Scott Longstreet's home in Arlington Heights.

      Disney character Olaf the snowman spins on a saucer sled powered by an automobile wiper motor in the backyard of Scott Longstreet's home in Arlington Heights. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Scott Longstreet works year-round on handmade displays for his holiday lights display in Arlington Heights. His wife, Cheryl, likes traditional white lights around the front of the house.

      Scott Longstreet works year-round on handmade displays for his holiday lights display in Arlington Heights. His wife, Cheryl, likes traditional white lights around the front of the house. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Scott Longstreet works year-round on the elaborate holiday lights display outside his Arlington Heights home. "It's always fun," he said.

      Scott Longstreet works year-round on the elaborate holiday lights display outside his Arlington Heights home. "It's always fun," he said. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • The holiday lights display outside the Longstreet home on Walnut Avenue is the result of a year-round effort. "There's always something on my mind thinking about this stuff," Scott Longstreet said.

      The holiday lights display outside the Longstreet home on Walnut Avenue is the result of a year-round effort. "There's always something on my mind thinking about this stuff," Scott Longstreet said. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/9/2020 6:01 AM

The holiday lights draped around the house at 102 S. Walnut Ave. in Arlington Heights inspired one neighbor to refer to it as "the mullet of Christmas houses," because of its traditional white lights and evergreen boughs in the front, and the colorful cartoon characters partying in the back.

Homeowners Scott and Cheryl Longstreet came to an agreement 15 years ago that he would decorate the front in her preferred muted style while he would get the back for a more crazy, colorful rendition.

 

"We live on a corner, so I've got three sides to work with," Scott said. "It worked out really well."

Longstreet spends at least 40 hours decorating the front and side of the two-story home with thousands of white lights, mini Christmas trees, handmade plywood yard cutouts of Nativity scenes and angels.

There's even an 18-person church choir on the porch, each figure patterned after a member of the Longstreets' extended family. Scott adds singers as new members marry into the family.

At the rear of the house, which can be seen from Sigwalt Street, stand three giant inflated yard ornaments of a snowman, Christmas tree and Santa Claus. Electric automobile wiper motors power at least three handmade decorations, including a sledding Olaf the snowman, a Dory fish on a snowboard and, new this year, a spinning carousel with colorful horses and riders.

Longstreet has even more elaborate plans for next year.

"There's always something on my mind thinking about this stuff," he said. "It's always fun, especially when I'm putting this stuff up and kids come by and talk about Olaf or Dory or one of the other decorations. It's always fun."

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Will the Longstreet display win over readers and editors in this year's Daily Herald holiday lights contest? First, it has to be nominated. The good news is that there's still time.

To enter the Walnut Avenue display, or any other cheerful light array, upload a photo at events.dailyherald.com by the deadline at 3 p.m. today.

Voting in the contest, sponsored by Lake Barrington-based Treetime Christmas Creations, will start Thursday and run through Dec. 14.

The entry that receives the most online votes will win the grand prize: a $750 Treetime Christmas Creations gift card and a $20 gift certificate from Schaumburg-based Ala Carte Entertainment, which owns a number of restaurants throughout the area, including Moretti's.

Four Editor's Choice winners (representing DuPage County, the Fox Valley, Lake County and the Northwest suburbs) will receive a $25 Treetime Christmas Creations gift card and a $10 Ala Carte Entertainment gift certificate. And one random voter will receive a $100 Treetime Christmas Creations gift card and a $20 Ala Carte Entertainment gift certificate.

The winners will be featured in the Dec. 18 print edition of the Daily Herald.

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