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Winners of Fair Lawn's Best Decked Houses

The national winner of Patch's Deck the House contest was the Powell Family in Davis, Calif.

Remember  where the best decorated house, as decided by voters, would take home $100,000 for their home school district?

The national winner was selected this weekend and, well, we didn't win.

, who live on a street nicknamed Candy Cane Court because of its lavish Christmas decorations, did.

But it's only right to also commemorate the top three finishers in our local contest, as well as .

Our third place finisher with 136 votes was Butch Blakely, of 11 Burnham Place in Radburn.

"It's great to be recognized for my decorations," said Blakely, who's been putting up decorations for 39 years. "I'm glad people appreciated them."

Blakely said he changes up his design each year, rotating the colors and the shrubs he decorates.

"My method is the main shrubs get white lights which are accented with colored lights," he explained. "Then I add icicle hanging lights."

Alexander Cardillo, 23, who works at the , decorated the second-place house at 5-21 17th St. near Morlot Avenue.

Cardillo, who is in his ninth year of decorating, said his decorating trick, which he learned from an industrial arts teacher who mentored him for years on lighting decorations design, is to double the strands of light to make them brighter.

He said he always adds things and changes the design each year, and that his inspiration comes from knowing the people in the area love his lights and tell him so.

"I'm thrilled to be a winner," Cardillo said.

And our first-place finisher, garnering 223 out of the 760 votes cast, is local plumber Pat Laudicina, at 706 Mayfair Terrace near Morlot Avenue.

He was modest in accepting the top prize.

"I am very appreciative to win," said Laudicina, who's been decorating his house for 30 years. "I know there are a lot of houses as good as mine."

Growing up in a house that couldn't have holiday decorations, Laudicina has made sure his own home was decorated each and every holiday season that he's owned it.

Each year Laudicina's design is different, but typically centers around a white motif with red trim. It takes him 10 hours to put up the decorations and 10 hours to take them down. Laudicina said he even goes so far as to draw a sketch of his arangement and plan out the animal placement.

His trademark reindeer and snowman are antiques he purchased 30 years ago that he restrings and refurbishes.

"You can't get ones like these anymore," he said.

Congratulations to all our winners! Happy New Year from Patch and thanks for participating!

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Cornell Christianson contributed to this article

Stuart Pace January 09, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Butch's house looks beautiful not only every Christmas. but every holiday as well. Congrats to all the winners.

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