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Pieces of long-time Christmas display spread legacy of Don Phillips after his passing

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TOWN OF CHENANGO (WBNG) -- After Don Phillips, otherwise known as "Mr. Christmas" for his light display, passed away, his family is no longer keeping the festival at their treasured cul de sac home.

It was an annual tradition for many around the Southern Tier to visit the Phillips home on Penny Street in Town of Chenango to check out their extravagant Christmas light display.

However, since the passing of the creator, Don Phillips, shortly after Christmas of 2018, the family says they couldn't keep up with the tradition and wanted it to be in peace along with Don.

"We didn't know it was his last [Christmas]," said Barbara Phillips, Don's daughter. "But we're just thankful for the year we had."

Barbara said the family had to sell a lot of the pieces Don had bought over the course of multiple decades. She says she sold it to friends as well as Animal Adventure Park, which is dedicating its holiday display to Don Phillips this year.

"I think he would be thrilled to know that his legacy is continuing on," said Barbara. "Not in exactly the same way, but to know that people are still enjoying the Christmas season and that they're enjoying the items he purchased that he really cherished, I definitely think he's smiling down."

The Phillips hosted their Christmas light display every year for more than 25 years and brought cheer to people throughout the holiday season. Don was 74 years old when he passed and his daughter says he will always be shining in his community.

Anne Sparaco

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