MULLICA HILL, N.J. — For some, it isn’t the Christmas season until Clark, Ellen and the rest of the Griswold family gather to celebrate a true family Christmas.
Who better to turn on the display inspired by Griswold’s “25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights” in a New Jersey community but Clark Griswold himself, Chevy Chase?
Chase was in Mullica Hill, New Jersey, to help Steve Harbaugh open Harbaugh’s Village, a holiday display originally created by Harbaugh to pay tribute to his father, George, when he died.
He covered his home in 10,500 lights in 2018, Harbaugh told WTXF.
“I think it was a coping mechanism for me to plaster the house and not think about Dad, but what it turned into is unbelievable,” Harbaugh told KYW.
Harbaugh then started a nonprofit called George’s House to help provide toys to children and to make sure they have a home for the holidays.
It has grown from just decorating one house to a village that has ice skating, games, live entertainment and more. The toy collection is still part of the holiday festivities, and this year they hope to fill an RV with toys.
To help spread the Christmas cheer, the charity has raised $350,000 this past year to build George’s House, WPVI reported.
Chase took the stage to officially light the night on Sunday, telling the crowd, “I love all of you. So great that you came out to this. It’s very, very nice of you,” WPVI reported. Before the lights shone bright, the event had a screening of “Christmas Vacation.”
Harbaugh, who is known in the community as the “Clark Griswold of New Jersey,” said having Chase at the lighting was a dream come true, WTXF reported.