Lake Country is aglow these days with festive lights draped across homes in anticipation of Christmas.
While many residents satisfy themselves with a couple strings of lights hung in a prominent place on the home, there will always be those few who turn the tradition into a full time seasonal hobby.
Doug Rupp, is amongst this second group of indivduals. For the last fifteen years or so he’s been adding to his collection of outdoor christmas decorations. There are vintage hand-me-downs from his parents, inflatables that he had to travel to the United States to purchase and modern low output LED lights.
Each year his display grows, this year alone he added four new inflatable decorations.
In total Rupp estimates he has close to 12,000 bulbs in his display this year.
“I started off doing this for my kids. They’re grown up now in their twenties and now I just keep doing this for all the young kids who show up to look around in the evenings. The expressions on their faces are what makes the work worthwhile,” says Rupp.
His decorating begins in November. Starting right after halloween Rupp starts making his preparations, working a couple of hours in the evenings on weekdays and a full eight hours on weekends.
So what does it cost to power a spectacle of this magnitude? Rupp says his December electricity bill is usually about $100 more than normal which he doesn’t consider to be a huge expense.
For those wishing to take a look at the display, Rupp’s home can be found at 10350 Chase Road. He turns the lights on between 4:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and he’s always happy to chat with anyone who comes by.
The set up even features a ‘candy cane walkway’ and anyone in the Christmas spirit is invited to take a stroll through his front yard to get a close look at everything. For good boys and girls the tour ends with a free candy cane to take home!
Donations for the SPCA are accepted but not necessary.