‘Tis the season…for festive lights

Published 10:51 am Friday, December 21, 2012

The home of Bryan Lewis lights up the night sky in the Hertford County Community of Union. Lewis’ annual display is lit from 5-11 p.m. each night through Dec. 31. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant

By Candace Matthews


UNION – It’s that time of year; the sun sets early and the holiday light displays are up!

Young and old alike enjoy a long night drive through many local areas to see newly lit decorations. One local home has become one of the “must see” attractions in the last few years, that of Bryan Lewis in Union.

Lewis’ home is located on NC 461 East, just past the Union Volunteer Fire Department. He was born and raised in Union, growing up only one house down from his current home. His father still lives next door.

For the past eight years Lewis has decorated his home for those around him to enjoy. He works alone on his home and says he really enjoys the process. He has even incorporated his father’s home in the fun. When asked what his inspiration for the display was, he reminisced about a winter trip to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. “They have a lot of lights up there and I thought it was pretty, I said ‘you know what- I’m going to light things up at home’ and I did.”

Lewis’ decorations have even spread to the streets. He mounts festive ornaments on the light poles around his home. Neighbors were interested in joining in the fun so Lewis helped them decorate their own light poles. The word spread because Lewis says the drive-by audience is noticeable.

“Any night you want, people will drive by and go up the road and turn around and come back by,” he stated.

Lewis comments that most of his decorations are pretty basic, but he does try to move the position of things each year. This year he even has lights in the yard that are connected to and blink with the beat of music.

“If I’m going to put it up, I’m going to put it up right,” Lewis stressed.

When asked about his electrical power bill, Lewis cheerfully said, “It goes up but, you know, we are going to pay it anyway so I might as well enjoy it. People enjoy it and the L.E.D. lights have helped a lot so it is not quite as bad as it was.”

You may have heard about Lewis before; this newspaper has written about his creativity and fun-loving nature in the past. Lewis collects many things in what he refers to as his “upstairs toy room.” There you will find model cars, train sets, dioramas and more. These toys aren’t limited to his home, however.

“When I go to the car shows I take them [dioramas] with me and the kids come around and everybody loves it,” he said.

His collection includes a toy train that his mother won for him when he was three years old.

Lewis’ advice to all of the home holiday decorators out there comes from many years of experience. His suggestions are: start early to avoid stress and buy A LOT of drop cords. (Although, if you are as dedicated as Lewis you won’t need those drop cords – he has invested in electrical boxes all through the property to avoid using so many cords).

If you are interested in seeing Lewis’ display this year or any other, he starts to set up Dec. 1 and removes the décor on Jan. 1. During that time period he has the decorations on a timer so they automatically start up at 5 p.m. and shut down at 11 p.m.

Lewis says his collection of holiday decorations is so vast that he hardly puts up everything he owns each year. However, if you are interested in donating some decorations you are more than welcome to add to the fun.

Bryan Lewis closely inspects one of thousands of colorful bulbs that are part of his annual Christmas lights display at his Union home. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant