Inside National Chain's Annual Holiday Display

Hundreds of glowing Santas and lights illuminate I-95 each year.

Most highways are boring stretches of asphalt and road work, but in Rhode Island, drivers scope out seasonal scenes that make a backup more like a blessing. On I-95 South heading through Providence to Warwick, we pass Nibbles Woodaway sporting reindeer antlers and a shiny red nose, and then approach a sprawling holiday display like no other, on the lawn outside National Chain. Fifty thousand LED lights illuminate the interstate, plus hundreds of glowing plastic Santas, snowmen and candy canes, and a full nativity scene. The display has been assembled every Thanksgiving weekend since 1974 thanks to the owners of National Chain Group, the Cipolla family. “It started out as a gesture of good faith, but now the holiday display gets so much recognition, it’s become something that people look forward to each year,” says Vincent Ferrante, vice president of marketing at National Chain Group. “People say Christmas must be coming because the National Chain holiday display is up.”