It will be a patriotic Christmas this year at one Van Buren couple’s annual lights show.
Richard and Helen Hodo, owners of Sisters Gourmet Bistro, once again will turn the lights on Thanksgiving night at their home at 1205 Woodland Creek Circle, off Azure Hills.
Featuring more than 100,000 lights, this year’s show will have a patriotic theme to honor the nation’s veterans and active military, Richard Hodo said.
"We thought this would be a good time to give back to our veterans," Hodo said when asked about his choice for this year’s theme.
Synchronized music plays on radio frequency 105.5 FM for motorists driving by to get a view of the show, and this year the Christmas music will begin with a medley of patriotic songs, Hodo said.
Lights for the display and 50-foot Christmas tree will be red, white and blue, as will the 12 foot by 16 foot American Flag design laid out in lights on the rooftop of the Hodo’s home. Raymond Harvey with Turf-Pro USA puts up the lights for the Hodos.
Hodo also will be bringing back some of the classics from previous years, including the Grinch, a gingerbread house, a giant snowman, and three scenes from the life of Jesus Christ - his birth, crucifixion and resurrection.
This is the 19th year the Hodo’s have lights at their home, and the seventh year it has been set to music.
The holiday display will be available for viewing from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday until Dec. 27, Hodo said. A little more than 12,000 cars drove through the display last year, Hodo said.
"We just ask that everyone please be patient, especially Friday and Saturday night. The lines do get long," Hodo said.
Santa will make an appearance and give out candy canes Thanksgiving night, and every Friday and Saturday throughout the season. About 16,000 candy canes are given out each year, Hodo said.
Visitors can bring their own camera to the Hodo home every Saturday at 2 p.m. until after Christmas and get a picture with Santa in his sleigh, no charge, Hodo said.
Those who wish to take more time to view the display can pull out of the way to allow traffic to keep moving, but Hodo asks that everyone stay in their cars for safety, he said.
Guests are encouraged to take their time at the display, and enjoy a visit with Santa. The couple set up the lights show each year as a way to give back to people in the area, Hodo said.
"Me and my wife say this is our Christmas card to the community," he said.
And Hodo has some advice for everyone during the holiday season.
"Take time to slow down, spend some time with family and just appreciate what you have - and appreciate your freedom," Hodo said.