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Nov. 29 - Dec. 31
Sun-Thu 5-10PM, Fri-Sat 5-11PM
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Meet the Holiday Home-Glower
For several years, Jeff Kendell, the self-proclaimed "Reno Light Wizard," has been lighting up his brightest little "Merry Christmas" in the "Biggest Little City in the World." You may have seen his electric cheer on local KOLO-TV, heard about it on the radio, or even caught it on "Good Morning America". This year he'd like to dedicate his display "to the little kid in all of us."
Our interview with Jeff Kendell:
First, the two questions everyone asks: Approximately how many lights are in your display? And how long does it take you to put them up?
Jeff: [There are] 30,000 lights. It takes about 120 hours to put them up, 80 hours to take them down, and another 100 hours or so each year to program the lights, build fixtures, etc. I start putting up lights in mid-October, and put in at least 300 hours each year, total.
How many years having you been putting up your display? How did it become a tradition?
Jeff: This is our seventh year. We started in Sparks, Nev., with 10,000 lights back in 2007. We added a second song and 6,000 lights over the next two years. We kept it at the same two songs this year at our new location, but now have more than two-and-a-half times as many lights as we did when we started. We'll add another song and more lights (of course!) next year.
What's your favorite part of your display or what are you most proud of?
Jeff: Well, I am biased, but I believe that I have some of the best choreography around. I'm meticulous when it comes to programming the songs, and make sure that the lights match up with the type of music, instruments being played, quiet versus loud passages, etc., and try to pick songs that build on themselves as they progress. That way the end of each song is its own grand finale, and I get to turn on all the lights.
If you were to dedicate your display to anyone or thank anyone, who would it be?
Jeff: I'd dedicate it to the little kid in all of us. I was immediately impressed by Carson Williams when he did "Wizards in Winter", back in 2006. The moment I saw his video online, I knew I had to put on a light show of my own.
Do you support any charity with your display?
Jeff: Not this year, but I'm planning on a children's charity next year.
And just for fun... What's your favorite holiday movie and song?
Jeff: Movie: Any of the old clay-mation ones from the '60s, back before Christmas became so commercialized. Celebrity: Santa Claus, of course!