The Christmas Lights of Bondville experience located at 510 Bondville Road in Salvisa has been a local holiday favorite for the last 20 years. This year’s event started on Friday, Nov. 27, and will run nightly starting at 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. as a free drive through experience.
Attendees are asked to tune their car radios to 93.7 FM and listen to the music as they drive through the three acres long display.
“Decorating is a deeply personal thing for me,” said Gorden Brandenburg who along with Robert James runs the display. “Decorating is something my Dad and I did together my whole life. Dad died, 11 years ago this month and my mother three years ago and I think he would be upset with me if I stopped.”
Brandenburg and James devote their free time throughout the year to preparing for the Christmas Lights of Bondville.
“It is a year long venture. We have made several overnight trips this year to prepare,” said Brandenburg. “We never stop working on Christmas, either repairing or coming up with something new. We did that this year so it was a good year.”
Each year Brandenburg said he tries to add a new piece to the display. This year the tunnel of lights was added and they hope to expand it for next year. Brandenburg even restores old holiday decorations.
“I recently worked on restoring a 70-year-old pole display. I tried to keep the overall feel of the piece, but make it work with modern fixtures,” said Brandenburg. “Our display is now all LED, which is much better for the electric bill.”
Brandburg said the display is provided through donations as well as personal investments from himself and James.
“It has been unreal this year. The outpouring of support,” said Brandenburg. “We really enjoy doing this. We really appreciate it. I am thankful for the support of the community and our neighbors.”
Donations of all types are accepted for the Bondville Christmas Lights including old light strings.
“I can always add them to my repair lists and use them,” said Brandenburg. “I ask that people leave any donated lights by the little building at the end of the driveway.”
In addition to the light display, Santa Claus is set to make an appearance on Friday, Dec. 11, Saturday, Dec. 12, Friday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 19 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
“I hope everyone comes out and enjoys it, but please drive slowly in the drive way,” said Brandenburg.
For more information follow the Christmas Lights of Bondville on Facebook.