FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – For the past 15 years Gallagher’s light display has been the fulfillment of a childhood dream and continues as the display grows in size every year.
Many residents of the North Peace have come to look forward to and have created their own family traditions by visiting the Gallagher’s ‘Candy Cane Lane’. Set on their property which can be seen from the West Bypass, the light display is impressive and inspiring.
Sean Gallagher shares “As a little kid I always loved Christmas more than the average person, I dreamed of doing this even as a little boy. I never dreamed it would be this big, its a real love for Christmas and it has never gone away.”
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The light display started when the family use to live in town, close to Bert Ambrose school. Gallagher admits the substantial display at that time would expand out of his yard into a neighbouring park. Four years ago when he purchased this new property, Gallagher said as soon as he looked at the property he knew it was perfect for his light display “the winding entrance would be the perfect ‘Candy Cane Lane”.
To create the growing display Gallagher has purchased light displays from the States then found a Supplier in Edmonton and chooses to purchase second-hand lights. This is more meaningful as he uses his time in the summer to refurbish the lights by stripping the frames of their old incandescent lights, sanding and repainting the frames and then rewiring with new LED lights. Gallagher says residential displays this big could not happen with the old incandescent light as the power usage would be too great.
“LED technology uses 90 percent less energy,” said Gallagher yet he still upgraded to a 400 amp service to be able to power the over 65,000 lights in the display. Gallagher tells me he already has plans for next year and I could tell he is eager to continue to grow the size of the display.
Gallagher has received help from his friend Bob Amon a local Electrician, who has donated a lot of his time to help install panels and all the underground wiring. Gallagher’s youngest daughter also enjoys helping by going outside to work on and look at the lights.
This year the Gallaghers offered a spot on the property to house a Red Kettle for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. Gallager admits he was surprised by the success that the kettles received. About 500 vehicles passed through his property each night, the week before Christmas giving the Red Kettle great exposure. Gallagher was happy to do this by providing help to the community.
Typically the lights of the display are turned off at midnight, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day they were left on all night and the family saw approx 1000 vehicles pass through the property on Christmas Eve alone.
There is still time to view the display as the lights will be turned off for the season on January 15th, 2019. To see the lights travel north on 100 Street past fish creek and taking a left onto the west bypass road, take a left onto the 244 Road for approx half a km and the property is on the left. You can also approach the property if you continue on the bypass and take a right onto the property. You get a different view of the display when approaching from either direction.