Transcript for This family transforms home into larger-than-life North Pole Christmas display
the great Christmas light fight. Here's ABC's David Wright. Reporter:' tis the season. Time for the brightest, boldest displays of Christmas cheer. Some of them so big they're controversial. Who's ready? Reporter: One of the brightest spots this year is in rockaway beach, New York where Joe's place took home top honor's on ABC's "The great Christmas light fight." You won $50,000! I do have something for you. Reporter: But it almost didn't happen. They called me up. They said Joe, we want to you be on the show. I said thank you very much. I've seen your show, I think it's excellent, but no thank you. And I hung up the phone. They called me a second time. I said I don't do this for money. I do it for the children, a special group of children. If I could talk about the charity and I could give the money to the charity, I'd be more than interested in being part of the show. Reporter: Joe has been brightening Christmas in rockaway for 23 years and raising money for juvenile diabetes. In the last 20 years, we're between $1 million to $2 million. Reporter: They call this place "The little north pole", and it's not so little. How did you get started with this? It's about 23 years ago. I'm a criminal attorney. A client of mine got arrested in Florida, and I needed to pack up and leave and I missed Christmas with my daughter and decided never to miss Christmas again. Reporter: His favorite decoration, those giant soldiers. When it comes to Christmas, Joe knows some guys. This is actually Johnny lights. We're going to finish doing some lights over here. Then the ice man. Reporter: Neighborhood elf armed with a power drill. I don't do anything with lights. I'm not the light guy, no. They say it pays three times as much. Reporter: Tony has his hands full tuning up the carousel, keeping the old-fashioned skating rink spinning away and the Victorian dancers, too. Computers, I have a lot of technical background. The merry go round is my biggest challeransmission under there that is constantly turning and doing a couple different things and I have to constantly get in there and adjust it, right, Joe? Reporter: Joe and his fiance Jodi, don't want anybody to feel left out. When the children in the neighborhood walk by and look at the lights, I want to put something out here for those children. Reporter: Because they might not have Christmas. That's right. They might not have Christmas as part of their tradition. So we put these dreidles out here. It tells the story of a big miracle. Reporter: Santa's workshop take up the entire two-car garage. Your do you park your car? Naturally, there's a nativity scene, too. We have Joseph, who actually needs a haircut. We have Mary, and we have baby Jesus. Reporter: Jesus has got a lot of hair for a newborn. He does have a lot of hair. Almost like a miracle. Reporter: It is. Where are the wise men? That's us. Reporter: The Christmas spirit draws out the whole neighborhood. There's even a police escort for the great man himself. He gives his heart, he gives his shoulders for people to cry on. He's dynamite. It's the light, it exemplifies it. It's a lot of hard work, but I've got some great friends, some great neighbors, and when you see the children. When you see the smiles, when you see them look up in warmth, it means everything. ??? ??? Reporter: Plenty of others across the country share that feeling. And some of them could give Joe a run for the money. But the tempers can flare too. One time we visited New Jersey at the largest Christmas tree at Keith Shaw's house. Over 47,000 on this tree. Reporter: 47,000 light bulbs. Some of the neighbors are a little passive aggressive about his display, but that's nothing. This year the town of oak ridge, New Jersey, slapped a $2,000 a day fine on Tom, the cost of providing security on his busy block. They're saying it's unsafe. We're trying to make it safe. We're not canceling the event. We are not telling the family to shut the lights off. We are there with a police presence to protect public safety. Fair or unfair? An unfortunate situation. Reporter: Anybody ever made that request of you guys? No. And there's a big difference. I take care of every bill over here. Reporter: Last year, my colleague, gio Benitez visited Fairfield, Connecticut. Some neighbors had their way, they would be very happy if the Fairfield police department could in some way stop this event from occurring. Reporter: The Hollowell family has been turning their home into a light show spectacular for 18 years, but their neighbors petitioned the police to do something about the excessive traffic caused by Christmas cheer. We're very disappointed that she didn't take time to come to us and say I've got a problem. Reporter: Police ended up stepping in to mangts neighborhood's traffic and goodwill. In rockaway beach, no need for that. They just block off the whole street. But it's only Christmas once a year, right? We don't want any of the money. We want the trophy, but we don't want the money. Where are you going to put that trophy? Right on the mantle! Reporter: From the little north pole in rockaway beach.
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