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Plum/Oakmont

Colorful holiday display created by Plum family who 'embody the Christmas spirit'

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, 12:48 p.m.

The Dojonovic family has to borrow two neighboring yards to put up their colorful Christmas display of handmade cartoon character cutouts and lights that has been making the holidays bright for nearly three decades outside their home in Plum.

Hundreds of hand-made wooden Disney characters — 101 dalmatians alone — and a few famous Looney Tunes figures dot the lawns. A red ribbon walkway supported by candy canes keeps visitors away from the wires.

Onc day each winter, the family also packs up about half of the figures and hauls them out for use at holiday events put on in the borough.

“We've had a lot of fun doing this. A lot of kids are happy,” said Sue Dojonovic. “This is the 26th year. We always put a little book out and ask visitors what they'd like for next year. They give us suggestions, and we pass out candy canes.”

Dojonovic, a retired day care operator, designs and paints the pieces after her husband, Tom, a maintenance man at Plum schools, cuts them out in his workshop. It takes about two weeks to set up the display.

The couple started making the characters after getting inspiration during a halftime performance at a Plum High School homecoming game in 1991.

“The kids were dancing around on the field with these paper Looney Tunes,” Sue said. “He went, ‘Ah. I love that.' Something happened to him.”

Tom jokes that he is 65 going on 17.

“At Christmas, I can act my age,” he said. “It's fun to do. Every holiday is our favorite.”

Their newest pieces include the Incredibles and Elena of Avalor. The largest pieces are the genie from “Aladdin,” and Pocahontas, both more than 6 feet tall.

The big blue genie was one of the pieces that made the trip to the borough's one-day Christmas at Plum Creek holiday event in November. The Dojonovics were also involved with decorating Sugar Plum Days, the predecessor of Christmas at Plum Creek that lasted several days.

“They embody the Christmas spirit,” Mayor Rich Hrivnak said. “They're always very festive in their decorations and have been a key factor in both events. They obviously love what they are doing.”

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

Sue and Tom Dojonovic in their colorful back yard in the Holiday Park section of Plum.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune-Review
Sue and Tom Dojonovic in their colorful back yard in the Holiday Park section of Plum.
The Dojonovic Christmas display of Disney characters in the Holiday Park section of Plum.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune-Review
The Dojonovic Christmas display of Disney characters in the Holiday Park section of Plum.
The Dojonovic Christmas display of Disney characters in the Holiday Park section of Plum.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune-Review
The Dojonovic Christmas display of Disney characters in the Holiday Park section of Plum.
Tom Dojonovic in his back yard in the Holiday Park section of Plum, making final adjustments to his annual holiday display of Disney characters.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune-Review
Tom Dojonovic in his back yard in the Holiday Park section of Plum, making final adjustments to his annual holiday display of Disney characters.
Characters from ''101 Dalmatians' set up at the Christmas Village in Plum Creek Park during the borough's holiday celebration, Nov. 30.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Tribune Review
Characters from ''101 Dalmatians' set up at the Christmas Village in Plum Creek Park during the borough's holiday celebration, Nov. 30.
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