Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Candy Land on Atlas Street Outdoor Holiday Display Honors Son, Charms Passersby

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Candy Land on Atlas Street Outdoor Holiday Display Honors Son, Charms Passersby

Article excerpt

In January, when Marlene Campen saw the Penn Hills house her son was about to buy, two thoughts came to her: Next Christmas this stucco-faced building would either be a gingerbread house or Candy Land.

Candy Land won.

So this month, chocolate bars, gum balls and peppermint candies and a sidewalk lined with bigger-than-super-size lollipops enchant those who drive by the Atlas Street house. Although it sits on a quiet, residential street, Sean Thompson's house is across the road from the entrance to Universal Park, so visitors there get a chance to see what a few dollar store materials and a lot of creativity can do.

"I tried to keep everything outside-proof," Campen said as she began a tour of the front lawn.

So the three-foot round peppermint candy wasn't made from sugar and flavorings after all. Two-inch thick insulation cut into a circle and spray-painted in a red and white pattern were the ingredients.

Linoleum roll cores painted chocolate brown and white garbage bags twist-tied on the ends made Tootsie Rolls. Toilet paper rolls, covered in holiday papers and protected with clear plastic, formed strings of hard candy.

Wreaths, some made to look like puffy red and white candy and others in a bright green not found in nature, were actually red or white plastic tablecloths or Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper bags that Campen gets for free with her morning news.

And the lollipops?

They're actually red, orange, green, blue and yellow plastic tablecloths, cut to fit over large, children's rubber balls, glued to rigid PCV pipe and secured with weed-whacker string.

There are handmade red and white garlands and a front-door wreath that holds a giant Hershey bar.

"That was my first wreath," Campen said.

But it probably won't be her last.

Although she's been doing crafts for years, including knitting Christmas stockings for her family, her son's Candy Land house is her most ambitious decorating effort.

The Brackenridge native never attended any art classes or sessions once she graduated from high school. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.