Holiday light displays for charity and cheer - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Holiday light displays for charity and cheer


Sioux City, IOWA (KTIV) - Some people get into the holiday spirit by hanging up a few lights on their houses but these folks from the Tri-State area have planned, strung up and programmed their huge light displays for the enjoyment of others.

KTIV went to finds out how much time and energy go into these cheerful and charitable displays and the owners describe their displays in their own words.

"There's about 100,000 lights out there this year, which is more than double what we did last year and we just enjoy the season and wanted to do something different and this is what we did, " said Cindy Pedersen.

"It's not really as much as people think. When I tell people there are 22,000 lights in this display, their eyes get really big and they just wonder about the electric bill. The thing is the lights aren't all on at the same time," said Matthew Wilmes.

"This is our fifth year doing a light show. We started out five years ago with 16,000 lights and this year we have 47,000," said Brad Zevenbergen.

"We started at the beginning of November when the weather was nice and we finished up just last Saturday," said Cindy Pedersen.

programming the longest part it can take three hours to program 15 seconds of music

"This year's display somewhere North of 500 to 600 hours. It's quite a project.The mega tree has 8,000 lights on it, red and green, 4,000 each. There's 3,000 lights on the main trees behind me. Our neighbor across the street, Gene Lighton, he built the nativity and the Santa," said Matthew Wilmes.

"We start planning in September and we start setting things out, I like to try to wait until after Halloween, this year we started right before Halloween but I think next year, we'll even start a little earlier, the more lights you get, the longer it takes to set up," said Brad Zevenbergen.

"He's been working on the mini trees and angels since July. The mini trees and the angel are upside down tomato cages," said Cindy Pedersen.

"The biggest thing is our mega-tree, it's a 35-foot radio tower, it's 30 foot plus a five foot star on top of it. It's a radio tower and it has about 15,000 lights by itself, there are four colors and it looks like a giant Christmas tree," said Alan Pedersen.

"The show pulls 60 amps. So when the show is going, my Mom had to have the house re-wired, yeah it's a lot of power," said Matthew Wilmes.

"One of our new features is a jumping snowman," said Brad Zevenbergen.

"This year we did have two other families that joined us and put in with our show so it just makes it bigger and better and spreads it out more," said Brad Zevenbergen.

"The community members say they really like it when they drive by and they really enjoy it. So we do it for the kids," said Cindy Pedersen.

"I do it for two reasons. One it's a fun way to put a smile on people's faces and another way is it's a nice way to raise money for local charities," said Matthew Wilmes.

"I think people that come by, the kids really like it of course and I think the adults like it because it shows the true meaning of Christmas being able to get that out there and talk about why we are celebrating Christmas," said Brad Zevenbergen


Cindy and Alan Pedersen's display is located on 3610 Cedar Street in South Sioux City Nebraska, turn your radio to 88.5.

In Sioux City, Wilmes Family Christmas display is at 4026 Capital Street in Leeds and turn your radio to 106.5.

And in Elk Point go to Elk Point Lights display go to 105 S. Corydon Street, you take the Elk Point exit 18 and it's behind Casey's and turn your radio to 88.7.

Each owner is collecting funds for local charities and they have donation boxes on site.

Online Reporter: Tia Heidebrecht

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