Smaller Grinch display replaces Spring Branch family's popular large-scale Christmas lights

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A popular annual Christmas display in Spring Branch isn't happening this year.

It's tradition for many families during the holidays to drive through neighborhoods to see the Christmas lights and themes.

Many believe the Johnson family in Spring Branch had one of the biggest and most popular displays for decades.

The family of the colorful holiday tradition seen by hundreds of people every year, decided to shut down the event after complaints about traffic in their neighborhood.

The Johnsons have lived on Quincannon Lane for 28 years.

Neighbors tell ABC 13 that the family normally starts decorating in August, and would already have all the trees across their property colorfully lit.

This year their candy-theme has been replaced by the Grinch and a large sign saying how "The Grinch stole their holiday display."

"It's so funny. It's hilarious!" say the Vogeses who have lived on the street for 21 years.

Linda Voges finds the Grinch theme funny now, but is upset that the Johnsons nearly 30 year holiday tradition won't happen this year.

"I was sad just for the neighborhood, and just the community itself because they enjoyed it so much. Particularly the kids. The kids really enjoyed it," says her husband Ken.

The Johnsons confirmed to ABC13 that they called off their annual holiday display that went viral last year during the pandemic, mostly due to major concerns about traffic flow.

Linda says, "There was significant amount of traffic ever since people would post pictures and videos of this whole display. Then they posted it on Facebook and Instagram." Linda says last year's display one of the biggest ever drawing more than 800 people on Christmas Day alone.

To help control the traffic, the Johnsons hired law enforcement after concerns about the increased number of cars coming through the neighborhood.

According to the Facebook page of the Spring Shadows Civic Association, the Homeowner's Association, the Johnson family and law enforcement tried to come up with a plan earlier this year to mitigate traffic. The association says it was at that time the Johnsons decided to cancel this year's event.

Ken says, "Inconvenience. Yeah, maybe, but what's the season about."

It's expected that many in the Houston area will still come through the neighborhood not knowing why the display is not up.

The Vogeses say they hope it will somehow come back this year.
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