Doug Rupp is a Christmas handyman.
The Lake Country resident woke up early Saturday morning to decorate his house with Christmas lights, animated blowups and candy canes for his holiday tradition that started more than 15 years ago.
Originating from an idea for his now-adult daughter, “people started pulling off to the side of the road and looking at it,” said Rupp.
As the years went on,“ it just got bigger and bigger,” he laughed. “I just put these arches (over my driveway) up two years ago.” He pointed to the pipe outline he designed himself, which will be illuminated with 1,800 lights.
Once completed, more than 20,000 lights and 36 animated blowups will be displayed at Rupp’s house, at 10350 Chase Rd., for the community starting Dec. 1.
A candy cane trail through his front yard has thousands of participants walking the path each year, he said. At the end, children and parents receive a candy cane.
Rupp has been working hard to ensure his display will be unveiled on time, labouring for up to 12 hours a day.
“I got delayed because of the snow at the beginning of November. I couldn’t do anything and usually I start right after Halloween,” he said, adding when the star is set up on the roof of his house, it’s a sign to his neighbours the decorating has begun.
“People are already asking ‘is he doing it? Is he doing it?’” he said.
His yard features an animated Noah’s Ark, many types of Santas and his favourite, from his memories of growing up in Northern Manitoba, polar bears.
“They’re just the most gorgeous things around,” he said. “At the end of my yard, I have two polar bears and see that polar bear? He moves his head too,” he said, indicating a bear and penguin display. The bear moved its head towards a fish a penguin dangled in front of its face.
A fan favourite in Lake Country, “I have people coming back five times in December,” he said.
Rupp will be collecting donations to the local SPCA throughout December. At the end of last season, he donated roughly $1,000.
The display runs from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1, from 4 to 10 p.m. and Rupp plans to continue his tradition.
“I have three grandkids now and the kids love it. Put it this way, I’ll keep doing it until I can’t do it anymore,” he said.
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