DAKOTA CITY, Iowa -- It started 34 years ago, with a single strand of lights. Now, 2018 may be the last for Merlin Fort’s Hillside Christmas Spectacular.
There are now 150,000 lights on 54 switches. The lights and motors powering the displays run for $6.00 an hour.
According to WHO Channel 13, donations have helped Fort to break even over the years.
“There’s no other place like it and to meet all the people, one year we had 39 tour buses,” said Fort. “It takes almost about 50 days to get everything up and I still do 80% myself.”
Fort talks of ending the display, but still kind of yearns to keep things going.
“There’s no fun doing it but it’s nice when you get it all done it’s worth doing,” said Fort. “I’m going to leave them all up until spring, for people to come to the auction and buy whatever they want to buy.”
The Hillside Spectacular was a name given to the display by the nearby Humboldt Chamber of Commerce.
The lights will be on until New Year’s Day.