Lights out for iconic display
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.