Holiday Lights Update: Despite Offers to Help, 'This Will Still Be Last Year'

"It's going to tear me apart," says owner, but the decision is final.

This is the last year for a gigantic Christmas lights display at 1713 N. Washington Ave. Credit: Judy Davids
This is the last year for a gigantic Christmas lights display at 1713 N. Washington Ave. Credit: Judy Davids
Since announcing they've decided to pull the plug on their popular Christmas lights display last Sunday, John and Ethlyn Unger have received many offers of support from the community to continue keeping 1713 N. Washington Ave. aglow.

Patch readers, too, have wondered if something could be done to help keep the display twinkling. 

"I bet there are more than a few people who have LED displays gathering dust that could be donated. Maybe there is a service club or the timebank that could help with setup," wrote Merry Merry

Even if folks helped with the costs, the display is getting to be too much for the couple, said Ethlyn Unger

"We've had offers from businesses to help us with costs," said Unger. "But we're both getting older and we've decided this will still be our last year."

Unger said even the work of directing volunteers to set up the display would be too much for the couple.

"Even if people help put it up, we'd still have to spend hours telling them where everything is and where it goes," she said.

Unger said even her own children, who told her they "hated it" growing up, are heartbroken with the decision.

"One woman told me she drove an hour to see it after hearing this was our last year," Unger said. "She said the lights meant so much to her growing up."

That's one of the reasons the Ungers put up the sign - to give people one more chance to see the magical display.

"I didn't want people to come next year and be disappointed," Unger said.

If you go. . . one last time

  • Where: 1713 N. Washington Ave.
  • When: The lights are turned on daily from 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. through Dec 31. 
  • Leave a note: There is a mailbox near the main gate with the word "memories" to leave photographs and notes you have of the Unger family display. The family plans to make a scrapbook.
Editor's note: Ethlyn Unger has promised to share some of the photos and notes left with Patch. We look forward to sharing those memories with our readers.



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