Lights out for iconic dis­play

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY EMMA PRIOR

The ever-pop­u­lar River Road Christ­mas lights and Christ­mas Eve event will not be oc­cur­ring this year as the Creen fam­ily takes a wel­learned break from the timely tra­di­tion.

Colin Hood, son-in-law and Christ­mas dis­play co­or­di­na­tor said the de­ci­sion to not have the Christ­mas dis­play and event this year at his mother in law, Bar­bara Creen’s house, was not an easy one to make but was needed.

“Af­ter 20 odd years of our Christ­mas dis­play on River Road we have de­cided this year that we will not be do­ing the dis­play or the an­nual Christ­mas Eve event,” Colin said.

“It was a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion and one we have not taken lightly. We un­der­stand that this dis- play and event has be­come an in­te­gral part of many peo­ples Christ­mas, how­ever it is also a sig­nif­i­cant job to not only set up, but also to main­tain and mon­i­tor.

“Bar­bara spends many hours wel­com­ing peo­ple into the yard to view the dis­play and also to chat and en­cour­age the Christ­mas spirit.

“This is not to mention the work done to en­sure the prop­erty is in best con­di­tion for ev­ery­one to en­joy safely.”

Colin said that Bar­bara, her daugh­ter Jenny and he have al­ways loved putting on the dis­play for and min­gling with the com­mu­nity but due to the work­load on all in­cluded, were just un­able to con­tinue this year and hoped the com­mu­nity un­der­stood that the de­ci­sion was the right one for those in­volved.

“Those things men­tioned on top of the week it takes to setup and the cost to constantly change and main­tain the dis­play to keep it fresh have all led to the fi­nal de­ci­sion,” Colin said.

“We ask that peo­ple un­der­stand the de­ci­sion we have made. We also look for­ward to ac­tu­ally hav­ing the time to drive around town and en­joy some of the other great dis­plays peo­ple have put on for the com­mu­nity.

“There has been some early crit­i­cism from peo­ple who sim­ply don’t un­der­stand the com­mit­ment or ef­fort a dis­play like this takes.

“We have not and do not ask peo­ple to help and we have never ex­pected any­thing for do­ing this.

“We have al­ways wanted to cre­ate an in­clu­sive dis­play that ev­ery­body can en­joy with the only thing we asked was that peo­ple en­joyed the dis­play.

“Peo­ple’s re­sponses al­ways made it worth it.”

Af­ter host­ing the dis­play for more than 20 years, Bar­bara, Jenny and Colin have many peo­ple to thank and Colin said the fam­ily hope the com­mu­nity has a great fes­tive sea­son in 2018.

“To our great neigh­bours and friends who have as­sisted over the years, we can’t thank you enough,” Colin said.

“Also to all the peo­ple who have al­lowed us to be a part of their Christ­mas, have shared some amaz­ing sto­ries and have taken the time to visit, en­joy and say thank you we also want to thank you.

“We wish ev­ery­one a very merry Christ­mas. “Please un­der­stand that this Christ­mas will be a hard one for us as this dis­play has been a huge part of our lives for many years and just be­cause we don’t have the lights, it doesn’t mean we don’t have time to talk to peo­ple.

“We are al­ways happy to say hello and en­joy the Christ­mas sea­son, just a lot more re­laxed this year.”

For those that are won­der­ing if this is the end, Colin says “you never say never. It is too early to even think about next year”

The Creen fam­ily’s River Road Christ­mas lights dis­play has been a pop­u­lar at­trac­tion over the years and will be sadly missed this year as the fam­ily takes a well-earned break.

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