Staff Photo: John Bohn Kevin and Renee Edwards, with their daughter Brinkley, 17, display their collection of Christmastime nutcrackers, in many types and sizes, in a window storefront at 106 Main Street in Lilburn. The family has been collecting nutcrackers for twenty four years.
LILBURN -- Kevin Edwards carries his newest addition into the Hen House -- a vacant restaurant space -- to join the rest of the collection. This newest nutcracker, no less than three feet high, joins a flood of more than 200 nutcrackers on display in historic Lilburn.
The display, which will run through the first weekend in January, fills the two large windows that bookend the Hen House at 106 Main St. in Lilburn.
This is the first year Edwards and his wife have made the display public.
"The city of Lilburn leased (the Hen House space) to us to do something interesting with the space," said Edwards while trying to place the new nutcracker in the perfect place.
The collection began 24 years ago when Edwards' wife, Renee, wanted to start a collection. After a while, the couple started receiving nutcrackers for gifts and finding them on sale at thrift stores and online.
"The collection started to grow to five nutcrackers, then to eight nutcrackers," Edwards said. "Then they started to multiply. We put them on the fireplace, all of the shelves around the house, even building ladders and shelves to fit them all."
The display does not have just your everyday nutcrackers, but unique ones that give the display an added sparkle. The collection features nutcrackers that are close to 6 feet tall, as well as ones much smaller, varying from football players and rock stars, to Mickey Mouse and a host of Disney characters.
Even with all the variety, Edwards' favorites are the ones that he refurbished himself. One of these is a Robin Hood nutcracker that Edwards completely rebuilt.
Edwards said he is pleased to be able to share the collection with the town.
"People come by to look at the display and like the variety of the pieces," said Edwards, as he looked down to see a child's hand and nose prints on the window peering inside.