Collecting donations for Sources White Rock & South Surrey Food Bank has been a part of the effort for nearly two decades. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Enlightened Christmas tradition continues in South Surrey

Popular display to be downsized next year, say Bonnie and Ken Fletcher

What started with a dollhouse and a deer has grown into a Christmas display that many have made visiting an annual tradition.

A pre-opening visit to the South Surrey home of Bonnie and Ken Fletcher – at 15499 22 Ave. – leaves no doubt the effort expended over the past two decades to light up the holiday season has been anything short of a labour of love.

“We just hope everybody enjoys,” Ken says, looking around at the countless lights, figurines, inflatables and animated treasures that he and Bonnie have accumulated over the years to create a display that now covers their entire front yard, garage, roof, driveway and windows – and even their neighbour’s yard.

“There’s so much, that they don’t always see everything,” Bonnie says of visitors who ask if one particular item or another is new.

Just a couple of days before the display was scheduled to begin its nightly appearance (it’s officially open as of tomorrow), Bonnie admitted she isn’t quite done with the details. She added an animated elves-at-work element to the garage on Tuesday, and said a bedroom window is still lacking its holiday lustre.

“(Ken) said you can’t see it, but I know it’s there,” she laughed.

This year is likely the last time the Fletchers will go to the lengths that many have come to expect for the holidays. Their house – which they bought new about 40 years ago – needs a new roof, which means the ‘stage’ that has long-boasted a homemade, illuminated Canadian flag, Santa and his reindeer, a Christmas train and sundry other holiday items, will no longer be available.

And while it may be difficult to picture a scaled-down version, the Fletchers insist they will be downsizing.

“We’re not going to be putting things onto a new roof,” Bonnie said.

Bonnie described Christmas as a special time for her family; her favourite time of the year.

Interacting with visitors to the display, she said, only adds to the occasion.

“There’s so many different stories out there,” she said. “One that stands out is a guy brought his dad, and he thought it might’ve been his last year he could do it.

“We always hear, ‘don’t close it down – it’s a tradition.’”

A particularly important aspect for the Fletchers is the funds the display helps raise for Sources White Rock & South Surrey Food Bank. In its first year, just over $1,000 was raised. In more recent years, the total for the month has reached $4,000.

Bonnie noted that future years’ displays are “still going to be well-worth seeing.”

New this year are a giant inflatable at the home’s front entrance, and a small minion.

Starting today, the display is open from 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from 5-10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday.

Lights aplenty

Other local displays to check out include that of Mike and Alison Bodnarchuk, at 2513 141 St. The festive arrangement is lit up from 5-10 p.m., with 40,000 lights, a “huge” Christmas tree, a nativity scene and inflatables, as well as three-foot ornaments hanging from the house.

To share locations of Christmas displays, email the details to editorial@peacearchnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Bonnie and Ken Fletcher’s annual Christmas lights display – complete with animated, inflated and hand-painted treasures, and more – opens to the public Friday tonight (Dec. 1) for the season. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Just Posted

‘Pods’ set up at Surrey homeless centre

Temporary shelter set up in April to help stop the spread of COVID-19

Suspect sought in alleged indecent act in South Surrey

Police say incident occurred near 13 Avenue and 131 Street

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

IHIT investigating ‘suspicious’ death of Surrey man

Officers found a body in the 11300-block of Bridgeview Drive: Surrey RCMP

PHOTOS: White Rock Farmers’ Market ‘welcomes all vendors’

Relaxing pandemic restrictions mean full spectrum of vendors can return to uptown market: manager

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

Most Read