Suwannee Democrat

Suwannee Democrat

December 20, 2012

Building a village tradition (+video)

Live Oak — Bobby Brickles is the proud owner of a three level Christmas village that has been a tradition for Bobby and Patti Brickles for over 25 years. This passion first began in the mid 1980s when the family purchased their first little village to place on a counter top. Later, the family placed it on top of the entertainment center. It was then the growth of the village began.

A Department 56 Village were the first pieces that were purchased by Bobby Brickles around 1985.   

“Every year we add a little bit more to the village,” Bobby Brickles said. “It’s just gradually grown from one stage to the next.”

Last year, the village was placed on a three feet by seven feet platform. This year, the village sits on an L shaped platform that is 16 feet long, five feet deep, and the bottom of the L extends to seven-and-a-half feet.

“It’s a big boy’s toy,” he laughed.

Brickles said it takes about two weeks to put it together. He and his granddaughter, Reina, start from scratch every year and create a village that is one of a kind.

“My granddaughter Reina is a big asset in putting this village together. She’s my number one helper, but she’s also my number one critic,” Brickles laughed. “If something is out of place, she is the first to notice it.”

Inside the village, one will find classic stores like Walmart and Dollar General. There are two stores in the village named after them, Bobby’s Garage and Patti’s Donut Shop. One can find cars parked everywhere with people shopping and ice skating in the park. There are two street cars and two trains, the Polar Express and the Nestle Candy Train, that are in full operation.

“There is a cart on the Nestle Candy Train that is dedicated to the firefighters who were heroes on 9-11,” Brickles said. “This is my way to honor them and their sacrifices for our country.”

Brickles said about 120 people came into their home to view this masterpiece. This year, they’re expecting more.

“Kids absolutely love it,” he said. “To see their eyes light up and the joy it brings to them makes all of the hard work and effort worth it.”

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