Red Deer’s major Christmas light tour released

One big display includes Fern Road inflatable collection

Foryears now Jim Elliott has mapped out and shared Red Deer’s ultimate Christmas light tour — with help the past few years from his sons AJ and Matthew, ages 15 and 12.

So it’s surprising to learn that he doesn’t actually decorate the exterior of his own house. He’s been busy enough figuring out the route every year, which he shares with the public. And this year has been even busier for Elliott, as he battles through some major health challenges, including separate triple bypass heart and spine surgeries.

But it hasn’t stopped him or his boys from making sure the 2016 version of the light tour was mapped.

Elliott drove a City of Red Deer Transit bus for 25 years, and has worked for the city for a total of 38 years. He expects to be back at work in 2017 where he works at the front information desk at City Hall.

The light tour began about 14 years ago for Elliott when he used to hire four city buses to take kids and families from the Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre (formerly the Children’s Service Centre) for a tour of the lights.

Route: 2016 Elliott Christmas Light Tour

The route the Elliotts map is a larger and more comprehensive one than the one the Red Deer Kinsmen and Kinettes offer free to seniors every year.

The Elliotts say their route is fun to do, especially on Christmas Eve, but can be enjoyed anytime during the festive season. Bringing along a map and navigator is helpful.

There are more than a few stories behind some of the light productions.

Take John Kesseler and Bonnie MacRae for example, who live at 56 Fern Road.

Three years ago the couple put out one inflatable polar bear at Christmas to delight their granddaughter. It’s morphed into 17 different inflatables now that take up their entire yard.

Kesseler searched far and wide online and has bought inflatables from as far away as Texas and Quebec, and his collection now includes a nutcracker character, the Grinch and his dog Max, and Snoopy, and more of course.

The couple estimates it costs an extra $75 for the power used during the season to inflate and also power the 3,000 lights and music used in their display. The whole thing is on different timers so when the inflation starts each day there’s not too big of a draw on the power at once.

Since their yard is full, they have already received permission from their neighbours to expand into their yards as the collection continues to grow.

barr@redeeradvocate.com

Just Posted

Alberta’s biathlon women sweep the podium

Alberta biathletes take four medals, including silver in men’s race, on Sunday

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

China accuses US of trying to block its tech development

BEIJING — China’s government on Monday accused the United States of trying… Continue reading

Electoral reform: All eyes turn to tiny P.E.I. as issue put to voters

CHARLOTTETOWN — Tiny Prince Edward Island has a chance to send a… Continue reading

Officials still working out how much oil leaked from derailment in Manitoba

ST-LAZARE, Man. — Canadian National Railway says it doesn’t yet know how… Continue reading

Historic win for Team Nunavut at Canada Winter Games

Four years in the making boiled down to a collection of firsts… Continue reading

Canadian women beat US 2-0 to win inaugural Rivalry Series

DETROIT — The inaugural Rivalry Series was created to give Canada and… Continue reading

Don Cherry blasts Hurricanes as ‘jerks’; team responds with his words on T-shirt

TORONTO — Don Cherry’s latest rant about the Carolina Hurricanes and their… Continue reading

Country star Miranda Lambert reveals secret marriage

NASHVILLE — Country star Miranda Lambert celebrated Valentine’s Day weekend with the… Continue reading

‘Black Panther’ costume designer blazes trail to inspire

LOS ANGELES — Ruth E. Carter is a black woman blazing a… Continue reading

Chicago police: Jussie Smollett assault case has ‘shifted’

Chicago police said Saturday the investigation into the assault reported by Jussie… Continue reading

Still-active human rights case speaks to lasting homophobia in Canada: activists

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Just over 14 years ago, the government of… Continue reading

Alberta missionaries among the Canadians heading home from riot-stricken Haiti

MONTREAL — A Canadian couple who had to leave Haiti due to… Continue reading

Man charged in daughter’s death in hospital with self-inflicted gunshot wound: police

Police say a man charged with first-degree murder in the death of… Continue reading

Most Read