Lighting up the festive season

Snowmen frolic in bumper cars and Santa Claus rides the ferris wheel nightly in Andy and Dawn Legault’s front yard.

Snowmen frolic in bumper cars and Santa Claus rides the ferris wheel nightly in Andy and Dawn Legault’s front yard.

For the past 10 Christmas seasons, the Red Deer couple has festooned their property at 234 Cornett Drive in Clearview with dozens of lit-up decorations — from gingerbread men to penguins, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer to North Pole elves.

Last year, there was a religious focus with a baby and manger scene. This year, the Legaults’ pre-school grandchildren will be visiting for Christmas, so there’s a kids’ theme — with a holiday Elmo making a special appearance and a Santa figure hanging comically from the roof eaves.

“We wanted to have a fun Christmas scene,” said Dawn Legault. “We had to figure out what we wanted to put out. …”

Many of the selected decorations have a retro feel, bringing back memories of Christmases past, including bow-tied teddy bears, snowmen on a moving porch swing, and the old-fashioned 1.5-metre-tall ferris wheel at the centre of the yard.

But the revolving ferris wheel is a new addition, handmade by Andy. “He just built it in November and it actually works — I’m very impressed!” said Dawn.

Although her husband has a full-time job, his hobby is coming up with something new for the Christmas display, she added, noting Andy plans to build a working merry-go-round before next Christmas.

All the decorations — (“we likely have hundreds of pieces,” estimates Dawn) — take two days to put out in mid-November, and then get stored away in sheds or the garage rafters after Jan. 2.

If storage space starts to run out, “we’ll just keep building more sheds,” she joked.

While Dawn’s parents used to decorate for Christmas when she was a child, it was never to this extent, she said with a chuckle.

Her 87-year-old mother now lives with the couple and enjoys seeing the bright, festive display outside the front window. “That’s why we do this — for the seniors and for the kids,” said Dawn. Her house is on the seniors’ bus tour that goes today and is sponsored by the Red Deer Kinsmen and Kinettes.

“We get a lot of comments, and sometimes we even get cards with people telling us they love it,” said Dawn of her family’s holiday gift to the community. “People take pictures of the yard or we see them videotaping their kids in front of the house. … It’s nice. I enjoy doing it.”

Many Christmas light displays can be observed around Red Deer, including:

l Other homes on Cornett Drive and Chappel Drive in Clearview;

l Baines Crescent and Barrett Drive in Bower;

l McConnell Close in Morrisroe (some of the backyard lights can be seen at the corner of 32nd Street and 40th Avenue);

l Judd Close in Johnstone Park;

l Farrell Avenue in Fairview;

l Robinson Crescent in Rosedale;

l Ohio Close in Oriole Park;

l The ice sculptures at Parkland Nurseries in Balmoral.

Of course, there’s also the colourful, impressive annual display at City Hall Park and the downtown.

If you see a Christmas display in Central Alberta that impresses you please email the address and community to editorial@bprda.wpengine.com so we can share the information with our readers. You may also email photographs in a jpg format in a large file.

Just Posted

NDP wants transport minister to spell out plan to replace Greyhound service

OTTAWA — The opposition New Democrats are calling on the Trudeau government… Continue reading

Auto industry warns Trump administration of ‘alarming’ tariff fallout

OTTAWA — The Trump administration heard plea after plea Thursday from the… Continue reading

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

OTTAWA — The federal government has sent a blunt warning to the… Continue reading

City of Burnaby issues eviction notice to protesters at Kinder Morgan terminal

BURNABY, B.C. — The City of Burnaby is evicting protesters from a… Continue reading

The Beatles’ ‘All You Need Is Love’ adapted for picture book

NEW YORK — Two new children’s books will add pictures to the… Continue reading

WATCH: Global FMX at Westerner Days

There are three freestyle motocross shows a day at Westerner Park this week

Greenpeace members arrested for climbing Olympic Stadium tower in Montreal

MONTREAL — Several Greenpeace members climbed the outside of the Olympic Stadium… Continue reading

B.C.’s Site C dam project behind schedule, plagued by problems: expert

British Columbia’s mammoth Site C hydro-electric project is seriously behind schedule, plagued… Continue reading

Charges laid against woman found in Innisfail hotel room with eight dogs

A woman faces 12 charges after eight dogs were seized from an… Continue reading

Ottawa police investigating fireworks incident involving fans at TFC-Fury match

Ottawa police are investigating a fire that delayed Wednesday night’s Canadian Championship… Continue reading

Pay down debt or save money? How to allocate your cash

It’s one of the most common questions financial advisers hear: should I… Continue reading

Rivers dry and fields dust, Iranian farmers turn to protest

VARZANEH, Iran — The small group of Iranian farmers gathered around their… Continue reading

‘Brady Bunch’ house for sale for nearly $1.9M

LOS ANGELES — The home featured in the opening and closing scenes… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month