December 2011 was supposed to be the last year Jerry Budnick displayed his spectacular Christmas lights at his home on Bridgeview Road.
The plan was to donate his lights, move on and remember the 12 holiday seasons he helped West Kelowna celebrate Christmas.
But when the lights were at risk of not being displayed this year, Budnick decided to come out of early retirement.
“I could’ve sold it all off piece by piece and everybody would have had a little piece of it, but I would sooner carry on a legacy,” said Budnick.
Budnick said he will officially donate the lights to the Rotary Club of Kelowna Capri after they come down at the conclusion of the holiday season.
He added his friend and long-time helper William Kittle has already expressed an interest in helping the rotary club put up the lights in future years.
But where the lights will be displayed next year is still a mystery.
“We have a couple prospects…I’m sure they’ll find a location for it.”
The owner of the lights said many people have driven by the display again this year and brand new lights have been added.
He added he has invested “a lot” of money in the lights over the past 13 years, but noted the dollars aren’t as important as the memories.
“We’ve had kids that have been coming here from the time they were two.
“It’s pretty amazing to see that.”