GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — For six years, a Christmas light display in Jenison has drawn people in from across West Michigan.
“Every year it gets a little bit bigger, a little bit more word of mouth gets out,” Ryan Kidd said.
He started off setting up traditional stationary lights and eventually wanted to do something more extravagant.
“I got into YouTube videos obviously just looking at different ideas and saw a place out of San Antonio, got in touch with that individual down there and he kind of showed me the ropes of how to do it,” he explained.
Every year Kidd adds to the display. His collection has grown to more than 25,000 lights that he keeps stored in 14 large tubs until Christmastime. Despite having kids, he sets most of it up by himself.
“This is dad’s project they say and my wife is the same way, so I spend probably 25 to 30 hours putting it up,” he said.
It’s much more than just the lights though. Kidd strategically picked five songs and synced the lights to go with them. The music is run through a director which creates a local radio station with about a half-mile range. Anyone who tunes into 103.5 FM in front of Kidd’s lights, can watch and listen to the show.
More than seeing the joy his display brings people of all ages, Kidd uses it as a way to give back to a local charity. In 2020, he raised $1,500 and in 2021, the display raised more than $1,000. This year, all donations will go to Keys for Kids Ministries.
Other than being able to give back, Kidd said the greatest reward is seeing and hearing the joy this display brings people of all ages.
“I love just using technology, using just a skill that I’ve acquired and being able to put it in. Watching kids and hearing from the inside even like screaming, yelling and enjoying it is definitely the fun part of it all,” Kidd explained.
If you’re wondering about his electric bill, it’s not as much as you might think. Kidd only pays about $15 more for the entire season.