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