Alfred von Hollen began setting up his Rocky Mountain House Christmas house in August and it will be lit up for visitors beginning Nov. 29. This is the final year for what has become a local Christmas tradition and more than 120

Final year of fanciful, festive decorations at von Hollen house

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE — This town’s much-loved Christmas house will dazzle for one more season beginning on Saturday. Alfred and Cheryl von Hollen have turned their home and yard into a Central Alberta Yuletide beacon for years.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE — This town’s much-loved Christmas house will dazzle for one more season beginning on Saturday.

Alfred and Cheryl von Hollen have turned their home and yard into a Central Alberta Yuletide beacon for years.

Alfred said a desire to do more travelling and the work involved in stringing tens of thousands of lights and inflating dozens of figures convinced him to pack up his electric ornaments when the plug is officially pulled on this year’s show on Dec. 28.

It all started with 1,000 lights in 1992. This year, his home will be bathed in the glow of 120,000 lights — the most ever. About 100 inflatable figures and scenes will be in place — again, a record. Nearly two dozen sponsors have helped make it all possible this year.

The retired teacher had originally intended to take this year off to do some travelling and return for one final year in 2015.

It was to be a welcome break for the 64-year-old, who wound up with badly frostbitten fingers trying to set up during last winter’s early cold snap, and an aching back from shovelling mountains of snow.

The light-free year was also going to give him a chance to stain his home’s wood siding.

He had even posted on his property a sign letting the community know the lights would be dark this year. However, when up a ladder preparing to pull down thousands of feet of lights ahead of his staining project, a mental light bulb went off.

“It just didn’t make sense to take it all down and put it back up,” he said.

So a quick change in plans followed. The trip was put on hold and the big finale was rescheduled.

Von Hollen said he’s at peace with his decision.

“It’s been fun.”

The switch will be thrown on the von Hollens’ final merry masterpiece at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 29.

It will be lit daily until 9:30 p.m., except on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, when the lights are kept on until the last visitor leaves.

Every family that stops by will get a free photo of the house. Those dropping by are encouraged to contribute to the local food bank or bring cat food for the Rocky Organization for Animal Rescue (ROAR).

To get to the von Hollens from Red Deer, take Hwy 11 to Rocky, turn west on 52nd Avenue, turn right on 60th Street and turn right on 57th Avenue. The address is 5725 57th St. Close.

Just Posted

Tory MPs gather in Red Deer to hear from voters

Eight MPs from across the province got input on a wide range of topics

Red Deer food bank to re-evaluate to stay up to date on new Canadian food guide

The Red Deer Food Bank Society, which feeds thousands of families every… Continue reading

Young Blackfalds mother copes with double tragedies with community support

Three fundraisers are being held to help Alana Newbold and her children

Red Deer careful about overuse of road salt

Focus on anti-icing to reduce salt use

Carjacking victim would stop to help again

Springbrook woman has some sympathy for carjacker

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Liberals have options to help more millennials buy homes, experts say

OTTAWA — The federal Liberals have several options as they look for… Continue reading

Parks Canada puts brakes on Icefields Parkway bike trail in Alberta

Parks Canada says it won’t go ahead with a plan to build… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake resident to receive kidney from younger sister

Sylvan Lake resident Lexie Libby had been losing hope of ever finding… Continue reading

Closing arguments at trial of accused in slaying of Calgary Stampeders player

CALGARY — Final arguments are to be heard today at the trial… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers fire general manager Peter Chiarelli: reports

EDMONTON — Peter Chiarelli has been fired as general manager of the… Continue reading

Canadian Milos Raonic has Australian Open run end in quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Canadian Milos Raonic is done at the Australian Open… Continue reading

$20K pay gap between women, men in Canadian tech jobs

The report defines tech workers as people either producing or making extensive use of technology, regardless of industry

Two Quebec short-film directors mark first Oscar nominations together

TORONTO — Two Quebec filmmakers celebrated in solidarity on Tuesday after learning… Continue reading

Most Read