• 68°

Christmas ‘carnival’ benefits Brookhaven Animal Rescue League

Gail Garbo turns her husband’s podiatry clinic into a glistening diorama of yuletide cheer every November. This year, she rendered her decorating efforts in the name of charity.

“I always do a Christmas village every year for the patients, but this year I thought I could turn it into a fundraiser for BARL,” she said.

The Brookhaven Animal Rescue League is an organization particularly dear to Garbo.

She said, “I started volunteering there about a year ago, and I really enjoy it.”

The Christmas carnival — complete with moving parts and a light exhibit — goes well beyond what Garbo normally constructs. She even incorporated a few local elements into this year’s display.

The gallery features a tiny wine-tasting booth in honor of her friend, Anna. There is also a ballet scene that represents Brookhaven Little Theatre’s production of “The Nutcracker,” a miniature BARL adoption fair, a model train and a little Goodyear blimp.

The carnival is open to the public, and anyone interested in seeing Garbo’s elaborate handiwork can visit Southern Foot Care at 427 N Jackson St.

“They can stop by and see the display during business hours, and there is a box where people can place a contribution to BARL,” she said.

The office is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Garbo is willing to give tours on Fridays for school groups, and church groups are welcome to schedule viewings on weekends. Just call her at 601-833-4815 to arrange a tour.

“We pulled out all the stops,” she said.

Furthermore, the display will be open during the Brookhaven Christmas Parade Nov. 30.

In addition to the carnival, Garbo set up several ornamental landscapes throughout the office.

“We have our Christmas village set up in the bathroom, and we have a nativity scene set up in the waiting room with a resurrection and Easter scene,” she said.

Her favorite piece on display is a little electric roller coaster, which her husband, Dr. Joseph Garbo, helped her assemble. She considers it the gallery’s focal point.

Garbo made several of the exhibit’s pieces by hand — even going as far as dying sawdust green to make lawns for her figures to stand on.

“It usually takes me, with help, about four weekends to get everything set up,” Garbo said.

Some of the extra work — like making inch-long banners for the carnival booths — is time consuming, but Garbo doesn’t mind. She considers it a labor of love.

Garbo hopes the community also will come to the Petsense on Brookway Boulevard Saturday, where BARL is hosting a photo shoot with Santa. For information on local pet adoption events, contact BARL at 601-757-4367.

Story by Trapper Kinchen