It started in 1984 with only one strand of lights. Now, 34 years and 150,000 lights later, Merlin Fort’s Hillside Christmas Spectacular is coming to an end.
“There’s no other place like it and to meet all the people, one year we had 39 tour buses,” said Fort, who does the decorating at his home in Dakota City, Iowa. “It takes almost about 50 days to get everything up and I still do 80-percent myself.”
Fort talks says he’ll dim the lights on the display this year, but still 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.