Ten-acre Christmas light display celebrates 10 years

If the lights aren't up at the Schindler household by Dec. 1, they get an earful.

That's the day the sprawling Christmas display at the Schindler's farm along Highway 2 has gone live for the past 10 years—with the occasional exception.

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"The truckers expect them up on the first," said Dallas Schindler. "If they're not up on the first, they're phoning."

Dallas and her husband Eric have been decking out 10 acres of their property, near the Alberta border, for the past decade.

"We light everything," she said, including the house, the outbuildings, the barn, and almost every tree. "Everything is lit.

"We started small and we just kept building on, building on, building on," she said. "We're hitting the creek now, so I think we just about have to stop."

The tradition began when Eric and Dallas married.

"We both like to decorate, and my husband and I just got married ten years ago," she said. "He didn't decorate very big and I always like to decorate. I convinced him we should start spreading it out a little bit."

Now, setting up the display takes two months.

"We don't work all day, every day, for two months," she said. "But we start two months in advance because every tree is decorated. Things are repaired, things have to be ordered."

The whole display can be taken in from the highway. But people who want to pull into the driveway and have a look are welcome to, Schindler said.

"We have a big arch welcome sign in the driveway," she said. "People were confused and didn't know if they could come in, so we put up a big welcoming arch for everybody. They come in, they can go right to the top and turn around."

And because the job takes so long, the Schindlers leave the lights on longer than most. They'll be up through Feb. 1, Dallas said. Post Dec. 25 lookie-loos are welcome.


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