The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … on Verbindingslaan in Genk

16:04 19/11/2021

Whether because it lights up in the middle of November or because of the sheer bling-bling of it all, the ‘Christmas house’ in Genk does not fail to leave an impression. The owners of the home on Verbindingslaan are well known for their Christmas light display, but this year they have doubled the number of lights – to more than 11,000.

“It was my dream to someday get to more than 10,000 lights,” Mauro Fumarola told VRT. “This year we made it, with the help of my wife and my son. We’ve got reindeer and carts, a climbing Santa, hand-made deer, Christmas trees, wreaths, angels and a lot more. We really did our best.”

While this kind of dazzle is the norm in the United States, for instance, in Belgium it’s unheard of, making the Fumarolas the talk of the town and garnering media attention.

Mauro Fumarola and Els Vandenwije in front of their home in GenkMauro Fumarola and Els Vandendwije in front of their home in Genk  ©Chris Nelis/HBVL

What about the skyrocketing electricity prices? asked VRT. Fumarola laughs the question off. “If I was going to worry about that, I would never do this. The lights go on at 17.30.”

When the house lit up yesterday for the first time this year, “the neighbours gathered around to drink glühwein,” said Fumarola. He notes that other houses in his long residential street are also starting to put up outdoor lights for the holidays. The people of Genk are starting to make a detour to drive, cycle or walk down the street in the Waterschei district to bathe in the glow.

“Since Mauro has lived here, the whole neighbourhood is trying extra hard to do our best in the weeks before Christmas,” said Jef, who lives across from the Fumarolas. “Our house is full of lights, too. The Christmas decorations bring us together.”

And what else would you expect on Verbindingslaan? The word ‘verbinding’ means ‘connection’.

Photo top courtesy VRT

Written by Lisa Bradshaw