UNION, NJ – A Lowden Avenue home in Union has transformed into an extravagant Halloween spectacle, thanks to a determined ten-year old, with help from his dad.
Almost every inch of Michael John Zaccaria’s front yard, stoop, side yard, roof, and most of the driveway is chockfull of Halloween ornamentation, including inflatables and a graveyard, a giant Grim Reaper, massive inflatable spiders, skeletons, witches and more.
Zaccaria, who attends fourth grade at Holy Trinity School in Westfield, said, “when I was little, I started going to Lowe’s with my dad, who works there, and I saw some decorations and I liked them.” He said he and his father, Michael, started to buy some pieces then and collected more and more each year.
“Since he was three years old this has been his passion, gaining steam and accruing more parts each and every birthday and holiday,” said Michael’s mother Colleen. “He has asked for decoration parts as his gifts on holidays for years now.”
Zaccaria’s sister, Cadence, 8, was eager to help out and got involved in designing and setting up the decorations. “I made badges for her, and I give her badges when she helps out,” said Zaccaria. Older sister, Annelyse, 12, busy with her own interests, was less inclined to participate.
Zaccaria said he and his dad made the gravestones out of wood. “My Dad designed them and we painted them.” He said when they first began decorating, they bought foam gravestones, but “they’re not that good because they blow away in the wind, so we decided to make our own out of wood.”
Zaccaria has spent the last ten months learning how to repair motors and replace fuses in broken inflatables, organizing and purchasing exhibit pieces, making and painting headstones. He said he and his dad have bought broken displays and worked to fix and revamp them. Zaccaria said it took he and his father about a week to get the decorations up.
“I thought it was just a father and son tinkering in the yard and shed and dreaming a grandiose dream,” said Colleen. I actually had no idea they had taken it this far. Around the Fourth of July, they start checking the inflatables,” she added.