DOWNERS GROVE - For many years, celebrating the holidays in Downers Grove included a trip to the Christmas house at 67th and Barrett streets.
Rion and Diane Goyette went all out to decorate their house each year, and that included thousands of lights, decorations and individual displays featuring animated figures. Holiday music was piped through speakers attached to the house.
The garage was turned into Santa’s workshop. The Goyette’s passed out candy to children, who could place letters to Santa in a mailbox located in front of the house.
Thousands of light bulbs on the roof were used to spell out "Season's Greetings" .
Tom Nybo recalls the popularity of the well-known house, which received hundreds of visitors each night during the holiday season.
“Traffic would be backed up half a mile onto Main Street,” said Nybo, the executive adviser of Friends of the Edwards House.
Nybo, who grew up in Downers Grove, has vivid memories of the house, which was first decorated in 1974.
“There wasn't a front window that was not a holiday scene,” he said. “This house was the Christmas house.”
The Goyette’s stopped decorating their home about a decade ago, but the memories they created remain with many Downers Grove residents.
Nybo recently posted to several community Facebook pages asking people if they remembered the house. The response was significant. He decided the Goyette’s should receive some thanks for their work.
Nybo and other members of Friends of the Edwards House decided to collect holiday cards designed to thank the Goyettes for their holiday contribution.
“I’ll bring them a bunch on Christmas Eve,” Nybo said.
Anyone interested in sending card can mail it to Friends of the Edwards House, P.O. Box 681, Downers Grove, Ill. 60515.