Christmas Village in North Augusta - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Christmas Village in North Augusta

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When you think of holiday decorations, lights, trees and wreaths may come to mind.

But one native New Yorker has brought the big city lights into a quaint Christmas village in his North Augusta home.

WJBF's Chief photographer, Troy Robinson, takes us through the streets Fred Ilardi created.

"My name is Fred Ilardi, I am from New York City.

There are 147 lighted pieces in this village. The number of trees and people probably quadruple that. It was a challenge; I've been on my hands and knees for the last 5 months, but it's something I never got bored with!

The village is set up in sections: the top level is all the townhomes, and there's a section of New York- on the Upper West Side & Upper East Side- that reminded me of that. Then as you step down into the city, these buildings are the ones that actually reminded me of New York.

There's Club 21, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall- and I've got Rockettes sitting out front- and I guess the most famous part, or the most favorite part of the city is in the middle of the table. On the left, with the lighted glass top is the Chrysler Building, and when you see it, it actually is as attractive, I think, as the Empire State Building.

In order to depict NYC, you have to have some height- so I put the Empire State Building a little bit away and the color on the top of the Empire State Building for this showing is red.
Everybody has seen the Times Tower and the ball falling at New Year's Eve.

I was born 1/4 mile from Yankee Stadium... I haven't been weaned away from the Yankees yet! I had my own Yankee Stadium built.

I needed to have some moving parts and so I put a couple of trolleys that run back & forth. And the fun part of doing the village is actually putting out the people- the people actually make the village. The houses don't do anything, but the people create movement, the cars create movement.

When the lights are out, it sort of reminded me of somebody coming in from LaGuardia or JFK Airport and looking down upon the city. It creates a look that you see when you ride in a plane. People see the city as I remember it the best- at night- because NYC is magic at night, it comes alive it never sleeps.    

I concentrated on the Village because of its proximity, it reminded me of the city and how much I miss and love NYC. This tremendous feeling of accomplishment is over. There were times, as I was doing this, where I honestly believed that I would never finish.

The thing that I most enjoy with it, though, is showing it. And that was my goal: I wanted people to have as much enjoyment in seeing it as I've had putting it together."

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