Richland family’s Christmas yard display wows viewers

RICHLAND, Wash. – For ten years, the Showalter family has put in enormous effort to spread cheer.

Located at the corner of Queensgate Drive and Alla Vista Street in Richland, the display dances during the holidays.

But, what does it take to create the massive display?

Mark Showalter said he uses over 120 cords, at least 40,000 lights and a lot of zip ties. He’s made most of the displays out of material that can be found at a hardware store.

Before he sets up his front yard, he starts with a computer program to synchronize the lights to Christmas music. Whether they go up, down or all around, Mark said the hard work is worth it.

“Yes, no doubt it is worth it. Even to the point where you’re out here and you’re tearing things down and it’s cold, it’s January, and you’ll still have the occasional person who walks by and says, ‘thank you appreciate it!'” Mark said.

The display takes him about five weekends to piece together, given that the weather is decent. He crosses his fingers that when all is said and done, it works.

Mark said this year, he felt the lights and music were much needed after pandemic shutdowns.

“We actually had a lot of requests to start early, which we did about a week and a half or two weeks early, and it’s great when you’re putting them up because we have neighbors that say ‘thank you for putting up the lights, my grandchildren love it we walk by all the time,'” he said.

For weeks, the Showalter’s front yard comes to life for a couple of hours. People can drive by and tune their radios to 89.5 FM to hear the music.

“We do have an eclectic mix of Christmas songs, one of the songs that’s in the list is not necessarily a Christmas song but it is a fan favorite,” Mark referred to the WSU Fight Song that they play.

Christmas Eve is the last night to see Santa in the Showalter’s window.

“But, after that he’s on a long vacation; well deserved,” Mark said.

The display goes from 4:30 to 10 on weekdays and until midnight on the weekends. After New Years Eve, Mark will dissemble the display and start planning for the next holiday season.

 

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