Those seeking Christmas light displays in Salmon Arm will want to drive by 2320 1st Ave. NE. Homeowner Terry Bonar’s love of Christmas shines brightly across her front yard, adorned in a variety of illuminated, inflatable and animatronic decorations. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Spirit of Christmas shared in lights

Salmon Arm resident Terry Bonar’s love of Christmas illuminates the night

Terry Bonar’s love of Christmas shines brightly for all to see.

There’s a tendency for vehicles to slow down when passing by Bonar’s 2320 First Ave. NE address, especially in the evening when her massive collection of Christmas decorations comes to life across her front yard, on her house and garages. There are all kinds of inflatables, including a singing Christmas tree, Santas and snowmen of different types and sizes, angels, trees, snowflakes and more, predominantly illuminated by LEDs.

“I just love Christmas, I really love Christmas, and I love doing it outside because it gives so much joy to people,” says Bonar, who explains it all began roughly in 2006 with a strand of Christmas lights. However, it was a few inflatable decorations at Halloween, and the response they received, that really got her going.

Related: PHOTOS: B.C. lights up for the holiday season

“It started with my next-door neighbours, the little boys – I started with four Halloween blowups and he would come every day and hug everyone,” said Bonar. “They can’t wait to have these come up. So it just got bigger and bigger…”

Bonar says she begins decorating after Halloween. The process includes decorating the inside of her house with 11 full- sized trees, each with a different theme.

Outside, the light show began on Dec. 1 and runs until Dec. 26, turning on around 4:30 p.m. and running to 9-ish.

Asked what the neighbours think, Bonar says they love it.

“They think it’s just wonderful, and every person that has seen it thinks it’s great,” said Bonar. “One little four-year-old came up and said, ‘Does Santa live here?’”

Related: In photos: Downtown Salmon Arm tree lighting

Bonar says she acquires her decorations throughout the year, either at sales or thrift stores. She couldn’t say how many individual decorations she has, but she’s always looking for more, and will take donations of decorations in good, working condition.

For next year, in addition to setting up her growing collection of Christmas trimmings, Bonar is considering adding a donation box to raise money for the food bank.

“I was thinking, once I get the inside done, because it’s pretty cool, they could go through and out and then just do that for the food bank.”


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Those seeking Christmas light displays in Salmon Arm will want to drive by 2320 First Ave NE. Homeowner Terry Bonar’s love of Christmas shines brightly across her front yard, adorned in a variety of illuminated, inflatable and animatronic decorations. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

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