Leominster’s Christmas on Tolman Halloween opens
LEOMINSTER – The spirit of Halloween has arrived at Christmas on Tolman, Tyler Yalian’s both spooky and family-friendly showcase that opens for the season on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
The festive exhibit features over 60 Halloween-themed inflatables as well as lights and decorations for kids, families, and people of all ages to walk around and admire. The opening night will include a gift bag giveaway and Yalian has set up a new photo space for people to take photos.
“Halloween costumes are encouraged, and I think the funniest part of opening night is that we have a pumpkin this year where the kids can walk around the exhibit and choose a pumpkin to bring back to the house. house and carve, ”Yalian said.
Yalian, 24, does the October exhibit in the spacious side yard of the family home at 83 Tolman Ave. for eight years since living in Leominster, and one for Christmas for seven years.
“I loved Christmas when I was young and when I moved to Leominster I really wanted to expand what I had started,” he said. “I added more and more each year until I made a decision: how can I further develop this display for the benefit of the community? That’s when I decided to partner with Toys for Tots and make it a free display.
His generous gesture paid off. Yalian estimates that 4,000 toys were collected for Toys for Tots, which are then passed on to children and families in need. In addition, all cash donations made to her new nonprofit, Christmas on Tolman, go directly to helping members of the local community.
“We see it as a bit of a bilateral advantage,” Yalian said. “We have a free Christmas display, and from the donations we get, whether monetary or toys, we can use them to benefit both parties – all toy donations go directly to Toys for Tots while all of our monetary donations go directly to our nonprofit to help local families and those in need and organizations.
People have certainly responded positively to the exhibitions, with many visitors each year.
“Personally, I think the community loves what we’re doing,” Yalian said. “There are people who look forward to it every year, and we have followers on our Facebook page who follow all year round to see our new additions and posting information.”
He said that all display-related expenses, such as buying more decorations and the 90 pumpkins costing $ 500 to give to children “come out of our pocket,” and that none of the monetary donations are made. ‘is used for displays.
“I will sell my soul before I stop showing off,” he said.
Yalian devotes a lot of time and effort to exhibitions every year. It is not uncommon to see him working on it at any time of the day, including until midnight on a recent night.
“Kids are what I would say that make all the long days and nights worth it,” he said. “The smiles we get from kids and parents are what really pay off for every new addition to buy or the hours we spend in logistics planning for it. “
Yalian puts a clear coat on all plastic figurines before putting them in the exhibit so that the sun doesn’t wash them off and painstakingly measures where he will place each and the inflatables, calling himself “a perfectionist”.
The number of Halloween inflatables has doubled from last year and Yalian said it currently has 150 Christmas inflatables for this display, up from 130 last year. Yalian and his father travel to Pennsylvania every year to browse antique shops and flea markets for inflatables and other items to take home for exhibits.
“My dad and I could barely get into the van with them,” he joked.
Holiday exhibitions are “a family affair”, with Yalian’s father and mother helping out.
“My dad and I do 95% of the outdoor exhibit and when we sponsor certain events, my mom Robyn is really leading the logistics, whether it’s getting gifts, organizing the event or whatever.” , did he declare.
His 2-year-old niece Kayleigh, whom Yalian calls “the supervisor,” also loves to help and is adept at helping him drive in the stakes that secure the inflatables.
“She is responsible,” he said.
Yalian said that “although not required, any donation to the association would be greatly appreciated” as funds remain local, as well as new unwrapped toys for the Toys for Tots campaign. He said the new 501 (c) (3) statute will allow them “to extend our reach to community members and organizations as a whole”.
“We have a lot of fun events planned for the year,” he said.
Yalian said he and his family look forward to welcoming children of all ages and families to the exhibit which will run until Halloween night, as well as the Christmas exhibit they are on. will start working as soon as they have taken the Halloween one apart.
“Screens are a labor of love,” he said. “We hope you stop by or attend one of our many events this holiday season.”
For more information, follow Christmas on Tolman on Facebook.