One of our favorite Christmas House designers is a Clifton dentist named Dr. Wayne Gangi. Dr. Gangi moved to his Clifton home in 1999. It took him a year to
renovate it to make it suitable for an office. Once he did, he soon realized that he was on a great corner for putting up displays. The first one was a Halloween themed display, which received such great reviews that he decided to create a more elaborate display with every year that passed.
Before long his increasingly elaborate, which have featured Easter, St. Patrick’s Day and beach party themes, began drawing huge crowds, often to the chagrin of the local police department, who complained about the traffic problems they caused.
“That’s right, unfortunately it draws a big crowd.” Wayne admitted to Weird NJ. “This past Halloween they calculated that there were between five and ten thousand people hanging around. I gave out close to 3,000 candies––the adult size from Costco. There were 22 police officers here and 17 police cars,” he told us proudly.
Isn’t that a bit ironic, a dentist giving out candy? We asked. “Just because you’re a dentist doesn’t mean you can’t have candy. I’m all for it!”
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In 2013 Clifton police started issuing traffic tickets to the large crowds who come to see the extravaganza of creepy decorations. Then Wayne was compelled by the City to take down that year’s Halloween display, telling him to remove his decorations from city-owned trees where he had hooked his cables to hang the mannequins. After doing so he instead hung signs on the property saying “Clifton Politics Cancel Halloween” and “Call the Mayor.”
All of that animosity seems to be in the past now though, and Wayne is back doing what he loves best – creating new displays and provoking reactions from all that encounter them.
This story is an excerpt from Weird NJ magazine, “YourTravel Guide to New Jersey’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets,” which is available on newsstands throughout the state and on the web at www.WeirdNJ.com. All contents ©Weird NJ and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.
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