Millis Wonderland has closed for the 2014 holiday season. The Meehan family, all the volunteers who help make the display possible, and the Milford Area Salvation Army would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for your generosity this year and over the past 10 years.
Recently, Mr. Meehan and his wife made the decision to give The Wonderland and all its assets (1,200 animations, 45 glass-encased floats, 100,000 lights, and all supporting equipment) to a suitable nonprofit after this season. The search is on for a charity pledge who will use the assets for the celebration of Christmas and benefit of the community. Essential, too, will be the nonprofit’s assurance that it will operate The Wonderland annually at its chosen new site for a significant span of years.
We will update this website with information on the new home of Millis Wonderland as soon as the donation decision is made.
Ford Motor Company's Salute to Kevin Meehan for going further for the community as part of the #GoFurther with Ford
Millis Wonderland was featured on CNN in the Giving in Focus Series. Please check out the video courtesy of CNN and photo journalist Bob Crowley of their Boston Bureau.
Millis Wonderland was featured on HGTV's All Out Christmas Special. Below is the video courtesy of HGTV. Enjoy!
Holiday Lights, on a Grand Scale
Besides admiring their beauty, big holiday lights displays at peoples homes always set me wondering about the elves behind them. But to all who know about Kevin Meehan's holiday lights display at his farm home in Millis, there is less mystery surrounding this attraction.
Thats because hes the very visible owner of Imperial Chevrolet in Milford, and Imperial Ford Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep in Mendon. Even those who have not shopped for a car at his dealerships, probably know him by his T.V. commercial: "In the little town of Mendon!"
Mr. Meehans display mirrors his business. Its big. American in scale and style. Bold. Popular. Successful. So successful in fact, its been featured on 7 News, Good Morning America, and the Today Show.
Getting there is another matter. Since it was my idea to bring my husband, in-laws, and my five-month baby along, I was responsible for serving as cheerleader during what became an odyssey to find these lights, but boy was it worth it.
Millis is one of those beautiful, village-like old New England towns with lots of winding roads, half of which are unmarked. Having grown up in the area, I still had only been to two places there: a curtain outlet store, and a spring water stand selling 4 gallons for a mere dollar. Its only about 50 minutes outside Boston, if you can get there.
Once we finally got on track, we knew it by the line of cars. The road was narrow and in the woods. Then we started thinking we maybe saw a few lights through the branches. I was feeling pretty excited by now because there were no other homes around, so I imagined this guy must have lots of land, and probably a huge mansion.
At the entrance (finally!), after being waved in by one of the many grounds staff, the first view of the place caused me to completely revise my thinking, onto a much grander scale. This was not simply a big house with a bunch of lights. This was more like an enormous family compound, or an entire town village even! Imagine a giant driveway, bringing you through acres of land with a pretty lit up farm style house, horse stables, lakes, running trains, dozens of glass-encased holiday displays, much like the old Enchanted Village in Boston, and all sorts of little surprises I wont give away here.
I was transformed from wacky lights enthusiast, to hero for the night. Besides reveling in this honor, I simply just liked seeing all those lights. I was so happy. As Im sure your family will be too. The only down side is that, no other lights display you see from now on could possibly touch this one!
December 15th, 2007
The Salvation Army appreciates any spot where bell ringers can set up for donations, said Capt. Bill Geracia.
But its location at the Christmas display at Kevin Meehan's Millis home is another story.
"This is the best place I've ever stood," Geracia said at the 60 Causeway St. residence this week. "People are generous. A lot are giving. It's just fantastic he allows us to be out here."
The Milford Salvation Army, one of three participating charities in the Milford Daily News Holiday Charity Drive, has been at the spot for four years.
Big Christmas display poses no problems in Millis
By Andrew Lightman / Daily News Staff
Last update Nov 15, 2007
MILLIS -- The Meehan family's winter wonderland opened without a hitch Thanksgiving night, as police yesterday reported there were no traffic complaints. With a new traffic plan in place this year, police said traffic has not been a problem so far. "Everything went well" said Millis Police dispatcher Karen Roberts last night. "There were no complaints." Working with neighbors and the Millis and Medway police departments, Kevin Meehan established the new traffic pattern to make sure a mess of cars don't spoil the holiday season. The entire eastbound side of the road will remain open for local traffic and emergency vehicles. Only cars traveling westbound on Causeway Street will be allowed to turn right into the Meehan's driveway, and all exiting traffic will have to turn right, toward Medway, after viewing the display. More complete directions can be found at www.milliswonderland.com. Starting at 4:30 on Thanksgiving day, about 70 or 80 cars lined up outside Meehan's home, vying to be the first to see this year's display at the 6 p.m. opening. The crowd was roughly the same size last night, said Holliston resident Debbie Wilson, who has visited the winter wonderland both nights. An annual tradition for Wilson, she came for an early visit last year after the traffic kept her away last year. "Last year I had no idea why there was so much traffic. It was backed up all the way down to the VFW in Medway," she said. "But then I saw it ... It's so much bigger, so much better. "So far the cars have kept to the Millis side of Causeway Street, with just a handful attempting to skirt the new traffic rules. But the real test, Meehan said, will come soon."We really expect the busiest nights will start next weekend," he said. "Next Friday and Saturday will be the busiest nights."In addition to the dozens of visitors on Thanksgiving day, Meehan said news crews from Channel 5 and Channel 7 did live broadcasts from his winter village. Because the family started assembling the display in October, Meehan said, there was time to add a lot of detail to each of the 42 booths on display this year. As people drive down the long driveway, they can look into the numerous decorated booths and listen to the Christmas music.
12/19/2005 9:21:56 AM
Hey everybody! Did you get a chance to check us out on NECN or HGTV this weekend? Well the airdates and times are listed below, but you can also check out a clip from NECN Dream Homes right here online! Just click the link, and enjoy!
Before and After : Light Display
(12/17/05 6:15 p.m.) The light display at Kevin Meehan's home in Millis, Massachusetts is legendary. Hundreds of cars visit every night between Thanksgiving and New Year's. In this piece you'll see the work involved with setting it up. If
- Krystal Meehan
12/12/2005 9:25 AM
Hey everyone! Be sure to check out the HGTV special “All Out Christmas”! The special will be airing on December 18 at 9pm, December 19 at 1am, December 23 at 8pm, December 24 at 12am, December 24 at 9pm, December 25 at 1am, and December 25 at 9am. So make sure you tune in!
Also make sure to watch us on NECN on Sunday December 18th at 10am! The Clips will be re-aired on December 18 at 7pm, December 19 at 3:30pm, December 27 at 3:30pm, December 30 at 3:30 PM and again on January 4 at 3:30pm!
We were on Channel 7 on 11/24/05
The buzz is already starting. Yesterday, for the first time this season, the “Milford Daily News” was at the Meehan’s own “Winter Wonderland” in Millis getting the scoop as Day One of set-up began
Rain doesn't deter early Christmas spirit
Andrew Lightman / Daily News Staff
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Kevin Meehan and three of his four children, from left, Sean, 8, Jack, 8, Jason, 11, stand in the storage room of their Millis home that houses an elaborate Christmas display. (Mike Springer photo)
MILLIS -- There was rain on the ground yesterday, not snow. But that small detail was not enough to keep the Meehan family from getting into the Christmas spirit.
Along with his children Leah and Jason, both 11, and Jack and Sean, both 8, Kevin Meehan set out yesterday to convert his 40-acre farm on Causeway Street into a winter wonderland.
For the past five years, Meehan, who owns Imperial Ford and Chevrolet in Milford, has delighted crowds locally and even nationally with a Christmas display on his property. Last year the display was recognized by Al Roker and "Good Morning, America" as America's best holiday decoration.
With Christmas still more than two months away, Meehan and his children began setting up the display yesterday morning, just to manage the massive volume of lights, display boxes, fake snow and figurines.
"It's going to be really nice," said Jack Meehan. "It's going to be bigger than last year and last year was huge."
It will take about a month to decorate the 50 display boxes, Jack Meehan said, with each holding moving figures of people and animals visible through tall window panes.
The boxes line the family's long driveway and loop around the property and back out to the road. Each one is decorated individually, and the children all have favorite ones to build.
Leah Meehan's favorite display box, "The Candy Factory," was out in the barn yesterday, for the kids to sweep and scrub clean. Individual displays can take up to three days to assemble and Kevin Meehan said the interior decoration will be done when it gets a little drier, mostly by himself and the kids on weekends and after school and work.
To be ready for their Thanksgiving Day opening, the family knows there is a lot of work still to do.
"We have a lot of displays that we didn't even put out last year, so this year we're going to do that," Kevin Meehan said. "But if it's a nice day, you can get a lot done."
With all the Christmas lights and moving figures, Kevin Meehan said he hopes to soon install electrical lines underground, tying the display into the barn's power circuit. Last year he rented five generators to power the display, and used "a lot" of electricity.
The display also generates a lot of traffic, fueled to a welcome but almost absurd level last year, Kevin Meehan said, by all the publicity.
"My dad was driving home one night and it took him two hours to get home," Leah Meehan said. "He just waited in line."
But this year, Kevin Meehan said he's worked out a new traffic pattern with the town and his neighbors to keep the visitors from blocking local traffic and emergency vehicles.
"Everyone's going to come in on the Millis end (of Causeway Street) and leave on the Medway end," he said.
Kevin Meehan said he's paid for a police detail to direct traffic on the street, and hired 11 people to direct cars that tour the display.
But by no means are the thousands of cars that will visit this year considered an intrusion by the family, said Sean Meehan.
"It's really great," he said. "We like it when people come to see it."
Last year we were on NECN, Channel 7 News, Mix 98.5 and even won the National light contest "Al Be Home for Christmas" on the Today Show. This Holiday season we will keep you up to date with when and where you can catch us.
A Meehan family Christmas
Dec. 14: Experience the Meehan family's holiday decorations in Millis, Massachusetts, and vote for your favorite 'Al Be Home for Christmas' display by visiting the 'Today' show Web site. Please follow this link to the "Al Be Home for Christmas" entry. When the link opens, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the identical picture. A new window will open. When the window opens you will preview a commercial and then be brought directly to the video.
The Woonsocket Call 12/18/2004
MILLIS -- Its no Ponderosa or Southfork, but the Meehan familys palatial estate, a private compound tucked away off a winding road in rural Millis, could give those fabled properties a run for their money.
And when it comes to elaborate Christmas displays the Cartwrights and Ewings wouldn't stand a chance against Kevin Meehan. In fact, 30 million viewers of NBCs Today Show say Meehan has the best holiday decorations in America.
Even Al Roker, the Today Shows resident weatherman couldnt believe his eyes when he saw the display in person early Friday morning.
"Forty acres of lights and displays. They even have an old diner on the property. Unbelievable," said Roker, who stopped by with a Today Show camera crew to broadcast his weather report live from the front lawn of the 40-plus-acre estate. "We even got a little bit of snow."
The Meehans Christmas display won the Today Shows "Al Be Home For Christmas" holiday lights contest this year. Meehan, the owner of Imperial Ford and Chevrolet in Milford, was contacted by the show Thursday and told that his 60 Causeway St. estate was the winner. The Meehans home came out on top after Today Show viewers across the nation viewed footage of the three properties Tuesday and Wednesday and then voted for their favorite display Thursday.
And what a display it is. The public is invited daily to drive in a circular direction through the property to see the display, which includes thousands of Christmas lights adorning hundreds of trees and fences that surround the familys huge custom-built home. Theres a life-size nativity scene with animated wise men, and on the side of the propertys massive barn are the heads of Santas eight reindeer. Each head is animated and illuminated by a light above.
Meehan also has a refurbished diner on the property. The booths of the Blue Belle Diner were brimming with visitors enjoying free coffee and donuts.
More than 100 people were on hand to be part of the Today Show broadcast. Many of those were Meehans employees and their children, friends, relatives, a few town officials and the general public who stopped by to get a glimpse of Roker. Many were dressed in holiday costumes and carried signs in hopes of being spotted by the Today Show cameras. Roker spent about four hours outside Meehans home going live with his first weather report around 7:05 a.m. and following up every half-hour with an updated report broadcast from various locations on the property. In between reports, Roker would duck into the diner for warmth and hot coffee.
New to the display this year is the more than 50 miniature houses that line the driveway, which was extended around the back of the property. Motorists can drive through the front gate of Meehans "Christmas Wonderland" and follow the driveway in a semicircle around the estate to view the houses, each of which contain different Christmas scenes with animated figures.
"Weve always decorated the property. Weve been doing it for years," says Meehan, who has been living in his Millis home for the past seven years with his wife, Patricia, and five kids, Krystal, 22; Leah and Jason, 10-year-old twins; and Jack and Sean, 7-year-old twins.
"We expanded this year with the miniature houses and it seems to be a big hit," said Meehan, who estimates that around 6,000 cars pass through the compound each day.
Roker, who was raised in Queens, N.Y., and lives in Manhattan, joked with the crowd of chilly onlookers before, during and after his second broadcast in front of a glass display of mannequins dressed in Red Sox uniforms.
"I guess the Red Sox will have a nice Christmas," he said. "Theres even a Pedro Martinez in there. Maybe Ill take him back to New York with me."
"Whos your daddy?" a man yells from the crowd of onlookers.
"Im getting out of here," Roker says. "This crowd is getting unruly."
Meehan says he was urged to enter the Today Shows Christmas display contest by Walter Dorez, his office manager at Imperial Chevrolet. He said he and his family made a video clip of the display and sent it in to the show. The tape had to be one minute in length and include an appearance by family members explaining why they have the best holiday decorations in America.
A panel of Today Show judges narrowed the thousands of submitted tapes down to three videos, then the Today Show audience voted for the winning house.
"We were more surprised to find out that we were one of three finalists out of who knows how many entries from around the country," Meehan said. "That was the real shocker."
As Meehan greets an acquaintance that has stopped by to see the Today Show broadcast, another friend from across the way yells out, "Hey, Kevin, are you going to do this for Halloween?"
"No way," Meehan says with a laugh. "Once a year is enough."
Millis clan's holiday display earns a visit from `Today'
by JENNIFER POLLACK (METROWEST NEWS)
A family that spent months decorating its Millis property with Christmas lights has won a visit from "Today" show weatherman Al Roker.
The Meehan family won the "Al be Home for Christmas" holiday lights national contest, and Roker will broadcast "Today" show weather segments live from the Meehan property starting at 7 a.m.
Kevin Meehan said yesterday that "excited" is not the word to describe his kids' reaction. "It's like they ate 5 pounds of sugar."
Meehan, his wife, Patricia, and their five kids, Krystal, 22; Leah and Jason, 10-year-old twins; and Jack and Sean, 7-year-old twins; worked for months to light up part of their 40 acre farm property at 60 Causeway St.
In addition to the traditional lights and Nativity scene, the exhibit features 40 display boxes with moving Christmas scenes and an actual diner imported from Worcester.
Woonsocket Call 12/17/04
MILLIS -- The Meehan family Christmas display in Millis has been chosen as the winner in the NBC Today Shows "Al Be Home For Christmas" holiday lights contest. As the winner, the family and their display will receive national attention this morning.
Kevin Meehan, who owns Imperial Ford and Chevrolet in Milford and Mendon, was notified Thursday that the display at his Causeway Street estate has earned the top prize in a vote by viewers.
The prize: Today Show weatherman Al Roker will fly to Meehans house early today and broadcast his weather report live from the front lawn.
The Today Show airs from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. It is not known exactly when the segment will air.
Meehan, his wife, Patricia, and their five children, Krystal, 22, twins Leah and Jason, 10, and twins, Jack and Sean, 7, created a one-minute video clip about the display to enter the contest.
Meehan has been creating the display for five years. It includes approximately 50 miniature houses set up in a store display-window style. Each house depicts a different Christmas scene.
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