Alberta man recreates ‘Griswold house’ complete with Cousin Eddie’s RV

EDMONTON — An Alberta man has turned his entire front yard into a scene from one of the most beloved holiday comedies of all time – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Stony Plain resident Jon Harringa said he’s spent “thousands” of dollars, hundreds of hours and energized 33,800 lights – honouring his favourite movie.

The idea came from people teasing him about his love for Christmas lights.

“People were calling me Griswold, friends joking around calling me Clark, and we just took it to that next step. It’s kind of been dubbed the Griswold house,” Harringa said.

The 1989 classic movie stars Chevy Chase as Christmas-light-fanatic Clark Griswold, in a tale that sees heartwarming family moments derailed by goofy circumstances and side-splitting disaster hijinks.

Harringa’s display even features an RV and life-sized Cousin Eddie statue, depicted in the famous scene where he empties his camper’s septic tank into the residential storm sewer while drinking a beer and puffing on a cigar.

Eddie, played by actor Randy Quaid, is dressed in a robe and not much else, just like in Harringa’s yard.

“It’s one of the most iconic Christmas movies around. We got Cousin Eddie emptying the ‘shitter.’ Cousin Eddie, that’s one of the best scenes in the movie,” he laughed.

Griswold House

‘CANDY CANE LANE’ OF STONY PLAIN

The house is one of dozens decked out in big Christmas displays on Briarwood Point west of Edmonton.

Tracy Goddard made the short drive from Spruce Grove to see Harringa’s house and take photos.

“I think it’s amazing,” Goddard said.

She’s a big fan of the movie and lead character Clark.

“I love his love for Christmas. I watch it every time we go on Christmas vacation,” Goddard said.

Harringa recalled the massive RV display in his front yard being a harder sell to his wife though.

“She just called me an idiot with some other explicit language in there. She wasn’t overly upset. It wasn’t grounds for divorce or anything,” Harringa joked.

Stony Plain’s Griswold said he has plans to make the display even bigger next year, with some special surprises. He said all of the hard work is worth it to make people smile, especially during a difficult 2020.

“The general consensus is the same, they just love it, they appreciate the work that goes into, and that’s what it’s all about,” Harringa said.

The display is located at 63 Briarwood Point in Stony Plain.

Donations for the local food bank are being accepted by Harringa’s neighbours. 

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