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updated: 12/19/2013 1:43 PM

Tri-Cities Editor's Choice: 943 Bluestem Lane in Batavia

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  • Garran Sparks has been decorating his home for 13 years. The display at his home, at 943 Bluestem Lane in Batavia, starts in the front yard and fills up the backyard (seen here) as well. Sparks won the Editor's Choice award for the Tri-Cities in the Daily Herald's holiday lights contest.

       Garran Sparks has been decorating his home for 13 years. The display at his home, at 943 Bluestem Lane in Batavia, starts in the front yard and fills up the backyard (seen here) as well. Sparks won the Editor's Choice award for the Tri-Cities in the Daily Herald's holiday lights contest.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Visitors to 943 Bluestem Lane in Batavia can deposit donations for the Batavia food pantry in the bin in the foreground.

       Visitors to 943 Bluestem Lane in Batavia can deposit donations for the Batavia food pantry in the bin in the foreground.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Holiday Lights Contest Winner

 
Daily Herald report

An interview with Garran Sparks

Q: How long have you been decorating your house like this?

A: Thirteen years. I started small, and every year it gets bigger. The backyard I've been doing about seven years.

Q: What inspired you to go all out with your decorations?

A: Watching "Christmas Vacation." The neighbors did lights, and I wanted to outdo everybody. So I just started doing lights, and it just grew. Now it's hard to quit because so many people walk the path. Christmas Eve, it's really busy. People come to me on the street and say, "That's your house?!"

Q: How many hours does it take to put up the display?

A: Eighty to 100 hours. Usually I do it Thanksgiving weekend, the four-day weekend. And I work all day for four days, and then I just add things at night until the weather gets bad and I stop.

Q: How many strings of lights are involved?

A: I don't know, a lot. Thousands and thousands. I've never counted. I've never had a reason to count. I'm not really competing with people for the amount of lights. It's more of an interactive fantasy land that you walk through.

Q: How much does your electric bill spike in December?

A: About double (the) normal. (Lights are on) usually from dusk until 10. On weekends I might run them longer. On Christmas Eve they're on all night, until I wake up in the morning and shut them off.

Q: What do your neighbors think of your display?

A: So far they like them. The one neighbor wrote a really nice article a few years ago -- I can't remember the paper -- commenting about how much work I put into it. I'm still picking up after everybody's done. But they like it. The kids like it.

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