Who has the best “decked” house in Middletown?
According to users who voted in our annual Deck the House contest, the Stielau home, a large Colonial on Cranberry Lane, has the best holiday lights in Middletown.
"There are approximately 2,200 white lights on the trees, lamp post, arbor, and fence, plus about 400 colored lights on the tree in the Palladian window, two spotlights, and candles in all the windows," says owner Michael Stielau.
"There are also three artificial trees in heavily-weighted planters (two on the portico and one between the garage doors). There is also a small evergreen tree in the corner of the back yard decorated with 200 colored lights, and is visible from the road as well," he says.
Stielau does all the decorating himself, beginning on Thanksgiving weekend, with his wife serving as "creative consultant."
Inside the home is decked out in the holiday spirit, however much less than the outside.
"We have a 9-foot real tree with approximately 1,000 colored and white lights, plus lighted garland, nativity scene, a wreath on the fireplace mantle, and red bows on the stairway balusters and some of the light fixtures," Stielau says.
The home, in the South Farms area of Middletown, Stielau says, was custom designed and built in 1993. "We have been decorating the exterior like this right from the beginning. We had some special outlets installed during construction to facilitate the decorations we had in mind."
"Our family consists of my wife, Diane, and me, and our 17-year-old son Michael, a student at Middletown High School. Michael enjoys volunteering at our church, and is a member of the Key Club at school. He participated as a 'cheerleader' in the MHS Powder Puff football game, and more recently played 'Clifford, the Big Red Dog' at the firehouse as part of the Christmas on Main festivities in Middletown."
We had tons of national entries in this year’s Deck the House contest and in our quest to find the most over-the-top holiday decorations in the country, we’ve seen everything from a life-size Santa to holiday lights so bright they could blind the neighbors.
We loved showcasing everyone’s holiday spirit, but Deck the House isn’t over yet. We’re still looking for the one home so spectacularly decorated that it could be the national grand prize winner of our contest.
We chose 25 finalists from all our entries across the country, including two from Connecticut — Hamden and Tolland. From Dec. 18 to 27, vote for your favorite and that person could win $100,000 for his or her local school district.
All you have to do is visit this page to browse a gallery of the finalists and cast your vote beginning Dec. 18. On Dec. 28, we’ll announce the grand prize winner of our Deck the House contest.
So, now’s your chance to tell us who has the best “decked” house in the country. Let us know by voting for your favorite beginning Dec. 18.