For Halloween, they spend days, not hours, setting up the elaborate display we all see along NE 38th Street. It also takes many hands to set everything up, including a pet graveyard, hundreds (unofficial count) of skeletons, and skulls. A giant spider web, complete with a giant glowing spider, greets you along the pathway to the door.
Most notable are two lurking 18-foot skeletons. Mills says her fiancé David assembles them from three parts and uses a ladder to add the finishing touches. There is also a skeleton tree and creepy animated pirates. The themes, according to Mills, are only limited by their imaginations. “There is not really an overall theme; we pick up what we like all year long. Home Depot, Lowes, and lately quite a bit from Amazon”, said Mills.
Last year, during the pandemic, they began setting up their Halloween decorations on Labor Day and didn’t stop until Halloween night. In an uncertain year that had many in fear, many parents did not want to take their children out trick or treating but made an exception for their house. “During the pandemic, we were told that we’re the only house some parents took their children to”, Mills added. They had approximately 100 trick or treaters last year alone.
They prepacked candy into bags and set up a table outside, where they also handed out mardi-gras style beads to the parents. When asked why they do this every year, the answer was simple. “It’s just fun”, said Mills. “We go even bigger for Christmas, we decorate for the Fourth of July and Easter too”, she added.
The question on many Oakland Parker’s minds: Where do they store their decorations? The answer is simple, in a warehouse. They are however making additions to their home, to one day keep all of the goods on-site. Mills advice for those that want to start adding more decorations: “Start slow, and each year build on it. Don’t be afraid. We didn’t get all of this overnight”.
This year they will again be pre-packing bags of candy and anticipate a large turnout. They will begin to break down the decorations the day after Halloween, so don’t wait too long to walk by or drive by to see the display. The house is located just east of 6th Avenue on the NE 38th St. on the south side of the street.
“From there, we give the house about a week break and start on Christmas.” Said Mills. If you think this is a lot, come see the Christmas display!
Check out more photos below!
Rhiannon Samoyedny was born and raised in South Florida. She has lived in Oakland Park for over 25 years and purchased her home in Garden Acres in 2012 where she resides with her husband, two teenaged boys, a few rescue cats, and her dog.
Her professional career began as a project manager and estimator for a small Oakland Park construction company and she later went on to earn her degree in Court Reporting, where she later incorporated her own small business RS Reporting, Inc.
She has a passion for gardening and attends many horticulture classes and workshops. She is also an LGA (Local Government Academy) graduate, class of 2019, and an active community volunteer and activist. You can usually find her around town at various Oakland Park meetings and events with her notebook, so be sure to say hello.