Each year for the last 12 years, the McCann family property is transformed into a magical place for the holiday season. Creating a “Christmas Extravaganza,” thousands of holiday lights are spread across a two-acre yard at the corner of Fowler and Fruitvale Roads, just a few miles east of Lincoln.
How many thousands of lights? Owner Michael McCann says, “I stopped counting at 200,000 lights. Now I just count amperage.” He said this year he is running 480 amps of lights. That is the equivalent of four average homes. He powers the lights only a few hours on Friday and Saturday evenings in December of each year.
The lighting project began with just a few lights in the yard the first year. A few more the next year. It quickly grew. Michael’s wife, Robynn said, “Three years later we began letting the cars into the property. Many of the cars were stopping on the road, creating a traffic hazard.”
At the entrance to the yard, the McCann’s cheerfully offer visitors warm cider, hot chocolate and popcorn. Admission and the treats are all complimentary. The only visible donation option is a drop box to help with their electric bill.
The McCann’s said an average of 300-400 people visit in an evening. Ample parking is available. The lighting displays are designed to be seen up close. Walking paths are well-marked and the yard is sectioned into different themes. Many of the displays are animated and feature holiday music.
Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite section, “…For family bragging rights…,” according to Michael. The McCann’s son, Joshua, and daughter, Ahyrnn, also set up the displays and greet visitors.
Amazingly, each year the entire display is different. Michael starts pondering the layout in late summer. He said, “I sit up here on a five-gallon bucket, look out over the yard and start imagining how it will look. I use garden hoses to mark off the pathways.”
The McCann’s “Christmas Extravaganza” is open Friday and Saturday evenings in December from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. They will also be open on Christmas Eve. The McCann property is located at the corner of Fowler Road and Fruitvale Road, north of Highway 193.
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