Career Center instructor transforms house into North Pole

| December 8, 2017

The Santa that started it all. This is the first Santa inflatable that Richard Webb purchased in the early 1990s that started his passion for collecting both Halloween and Christmas inflatables.

NEWCOMERSTOWN – This time of the year, some people usually decorate the outside of their homes for the upcoming holiday season with a few Christmas lights and maybe an inflatable Santa or snowman. But Richard Webb, metal fabricator instructor at the Coshocton County Career Center, takes decorating for Christmas to a whole new level.

Since the early 1990s, Webb has had his Newcomerstown residence decked out for the holiday season with all types of inflatables.

“It started with a snowman and Santa,” he said. “I still have the original Santa. It increases every year, depending on what I buy. I lose some every year because of the fabric. Once it gets so far along, the fans in them blow out more than they can hold.”

As of this year, Webb has 120 Christmas inflatables and lines his yard and the road by his house with everything from characters from Rudolph to Winnie the Pooh to snow globes, Shrek, Mickey Mouse, and so much more.

Webb sets the inflatables out every year and it generally takes him about three days to get the entire display set up. His son Eric helps him tear down after Christmas.

“Every night from the night they’re up, cars come through,” said Webb. “There’s a constant trail of cars that come down the road or come down my driveway.”

Webb doesn’t just have 120 Christmas inflatables in his yard at random. Each character is grouped with like-characters and has their own special place in Webb’s yard each year.

“It’s something I started and I never thought it would get like this,” said Webb. “It’s the people, the older people and the younger people both really like it. We never decorated when I was growing up. We’d put up a Christmas tree, but we never did anything like this.”

However, the joy he brings to others in the community comes at a price.

“My electric bill is sky high just to keep them running seven days a week,” he said. “People have asked me if I put out a donation jar, and I don’t do that because it’s not about the money.”

If the weather’s warm enough, drive through with your windows down and listen as two music boxes play Christmas music. Webb also recently added a singing snowman in his side yard.

Unfortunately, the December winter weather that we have in Ohio can also affect Webb’s display. Heavy snow or rain, ice, and especially wind play a key factor in the life of the inflatables, although Webb repairs them when he can. He usually walks around his property three to four times a night to fix any inflatable that has fallen over.

“I like it because it’s like a scene,” he said. “I don’t just place anything where I want to. I try to make everything go together.”

Webb doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon. He has room for up to 200 inflatables in his yard and looks at after-Christmas sales and shops during special Christmas in July television sales.

“People come to see it that live two to three hours away,” he said. “From 5 to 10:30 at night, there’s a constant flow of cars, especially on the weekend.”

However, Christmas isn’t the only time you can see inflatables on Webb’s property. He also has 80 Halloween inflatables that he displays every October.

In the off-season, Webb stores his inflatables in an outbuilding on his property.

“I try to keep them up until the first of the year,” he said. “But they will be up until at least the weekend after Christmas.”

Webb lives in Newcomerstown at 415 N. Bridge St.

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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