RONKONKOMA, New York -- Colorful gumdrops, vanilla icing trim, and a group of choir children on the front patio are only a few of the decorations that Peter Tomasello and his husband Drew Jordan have displayed for all to see at their 'Gingerbread House.'
Every year Tomasello and Jordan create a winter wonderland of over 1,000 figurines with their house shining brightly for visitors to come and marvel at their colorful creation.
"For a 2-year-old, this is absolute paradise," said Bryan Stoothoff. "To have this in our backyards here on Long Island for the children to get up close and personal with some of their favorite characters creates lasting memories."
As soon as you walk onto the property, toy soldiers are standing in line greeting you as you walk through the magical path.
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Each section of the property has a different display to watch and or interact with.
There's even a music and light show that plays every five minutes with different songs from "Frozen" playing while Anna and Elsa's figurines move to the beat on their stage.
"We come here because the gingerbread house is a tradition and it's just such an important part of the community," said Diana Morales, a participant. "We love it, just because of everything that they do here to make Christmas come to life."
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Their display became widely known and was even featured on the ABC competition show "The Great Christmas Light Fight" in 2017.
The experience is free for all, but the couple encourages families to donate to the Nassau/Suffolk Chapter of the Autism Society of America partly in honor of a close family friend with autism.
Tomasello and Jordan start setting up the interactive decorations in the summer, but when the coronavirus pandemic was on the rise, the homeowners had to quickly pivot how they were going to make their display socially distant for all to enjoy.
Since their attraction is very interactive, the couple had to mandate mask-wearing, count the number of people on the property, and install a hand sanitizing station (with peppermint-scented sanitizer).
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The elaborate Christmas decoration display is located at 135 North Huron St. in Ronkonkoma and is open daily through January 1.
Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Contact Community Journalist Alex Ciccarone