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Sandwich artist makes a giant impression

Michael Magyar has inspired a community with his unique—and sizeable—creations

Taking a drive to peruse Christmas lights in December is a time-honored tradition for families around New England, yet this festive endeavor has reached new heights recently in the town of Sandwich. Heralding the start of the holiday season, those who live in or travel through Cape Cod’s oldest town can view a magical display of gargantuan twinkling figures gracing front yards throughout the community—on or nearby Route 6A—beginning the day after Thanksgiving.

Lit up until New Year’s Day, or soon thereafter, this collection of “Giants” includes angels, a lobster, a sand dollar, a fire truck, a juggler, and Old Man Winter himself—all fashioned from rebar iron and Christmas lights and arranged in front of Sandwich businesses and homes. There is one Giant down the road apiece in Dennis, and a few in Barnstable too! Standing eight to 20 feet tall, the brilliantly lit figures each have their own story. But where, a visitor might ask, did they come from? Who made them, and why?

Sandwich artist makes a giant impression

Photo by Josh Shortsleeve

The Giants’ story begins with Michael Magyar, a talented glass artist and sculptor, who arrived in Sandwich in 1992 and opened The Glass Studio on Cape Cod. In business here for nearly two decades now, Magyar and his staff create blown glass art pieces for sale and exhibition, and visitors can tour his facility on Route 6A to learn how the process works.


Photo by Josh Shortsleeve

Just for fun, Magyar created his first Giant, a glassblower he calls “Moto-San,” back in 1996. “I love sculpting with metal and thought it would be cool to represent my studio with a lit-up figure out on Route 6A,” Magyar says. “When I put it out, people loved it, and my neighbor down the street asked me to make him one. Things took off from there.”

Today, the Giants—these “Gifts of the Magyar”—number more than 35, and as of our publication date the artist was working on more to display this holiday season.

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