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.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… 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