Lights out: Christmas king pulls the plug

THE plug has been pulled on one of Sydney’s biggest and brightest annual Christmas lights display.

Peter Olsen, who for years has lit up his Lugarno home, has decided this year’s decorations will be his last.

“We would love to continue the display forever but it is time to spend some more time with our family,” the grandfather of nine said.

“Whenever the grandkids are over I am always up a tree working on the lights. It’s time to change that.”

Decorating houses with lights has become a Sydney Christmas tradition with some suburbs attracting thousands of visitors a night to see elaborate displays. Councils, in a bid to have some sort of control over light displays, run official Christmas lights competitions and block off roads to cope with the crowds. [Holiday Lights! : Brilliant displays to inspire your Christmas celebration]

Work started on the Olsens’ Maple Street display in August and the finished product will be unveiled on Thursday.

“I have gone all-out this year,” Mr Olsen said. “This year will be the biggest and best display ever.”

The display will feature 86,000 lights, animated cartoon characters, a six-metre-high wine bottle, a 20-metre-long “Happy Christmas” sign and a life-sized nativity scene.

A huge clock made from fairy lights will count down the days until Santa arrives.

This year’s display is so big lights have been installed on neighbouring houses.

“The children’s favourites have always been the displays of Mickey Mouse and the animated Thomas the Tank Engine with Santa aboard,” Mr Olsen said. [Merry Christmas, America: A Front Yard View of the Holidays]

The displays have been a labour of love for Mr Olsen.

He uses the lights to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and this Christmas wants to top the $112,000 collected last year.

“So many people will go to extraordinary lengths to raise funds for children’s wishes,” Karl Hale, from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, said.

“But the Olsens’ Lugarno lights display actually gives to all children by letting them enjoy the magic of Christmas in their own backyards.”

Comments are closed.