Garden Oak Holiday Lights is looking for a new location to grow into. The response to our display and the support we have received in the contributions going to our charity (The National Foundation for Cancer Research) has been overwhelming. We know our display is getting too big to continue this display at our home and we are looking for a new location.
We are looking for 3 things:
1. We are looking for someone to lend their field or pasture to us for a few months before and a few months after Christmas for the 2019 season and for years after. Total would be about 4 acres depending on the physical shape of the land. No permanent structures would be built on the property, but we do have a safety concern which may result in adding a layer of stone dust or chip gravel to about a half-acre of the land to make walking easier for older folks. Our estimate in area is for the display and parking. Think Renaissance Festival but with a Christmas town square feel.
2. We are looking for sponsors. Up to this point, my wife and I have paid for 100% of the display by putting off buying new cars, vacations and other small things. We have felt that this cause has a greater importance to us – our choice. We would like to continue having 100% of the donations going to the organization we raise funds for - The National Foundation for Cancer Research. Because of the size of the new project, we are looking for individual and business support, but we are asking them to be more of a silent partner in this endeavor. We do not want to make this a commercial display, but we will have a way to gracefully recognize those that do help. Our estimates are that the lighting alone will cost around $150,000. Material to build the town and logistical needs is estimated to be around $250,000. As our design becomes more solid we will update these figures.
My wife and I will contribute the first $10,000. We will also donate as much of our existing display at our home (lights, controllers, elements, etc.) which is estimated up to $45,000 and is not part of the money needed for the lighting.
3. We will need a location to store our display in the off season. We are planning on our display to be modular so that no permanent structures need to be built. This requires a location to safely store panels inside. The exact area needed is not known at this time as it all will be based on the location space that will be made available. A warehouse is the perfect type of location we will need and it should have forklift access.
If you would like to make a personal donation to help us build our future display, you are welcome to use our GoFindMe page by clicking the button below. Please note that this is NOT a donation to the National Foundation for Cancer Research.
Efforts up to this point to find a new home
We previously had several meetings, emails and phone calls with a representative with the Indian Trail Arts and Cultural Center about doing a display at the new Indian Trail Town Hall. However, after about 60 hours of planning on our part, this fell through as we were told that they felt the new town administration would not be in favor of supporting a display.
We were requested to talk with the Bakers Fire Department in Monroe (they service our home) after one of their volunteers saw our display. After going up and talking with them at the Fire Station, they did not think their location would work for what we were looking for.
The new concept
The concept is still fluid in thoughts, but at the current moment, we are thinking of an almost 20,000 square foot “town Square” that would be decorated for the Christmas Season and with lights to amaze all. The lights will be displayed on a ring of up to 15 “old time store fronts” with large display windows depicting Christmas themed scenes that people can look in on and admire - Santa Suit repair shop, Elf hat maker, etc. could title the buildings. Think large department store display windows, however, these are not actual stores to enter only fact facades - think Hollywood sets. The main attraction will be Santa’s castle workshop that will tower up to 60’ above the square’s store fronts. Multiple times a night, our Synchronized Lights to Music display will bring the castle and square to life to dazzle all as people watch from inside the square.
The lighting display will be the same as we do today at our home, lights synchronized to holiday or popular music. The show will be extended to have a longer show than we are able to produce now.
We are looking to make this a free attraction with all monies raised will be considered as a donation to the organization we raise money for.
Some have asked why are we putting all this money into our current display when it could mean 4 or 5 times more than we have raised in donations. The answer is simple – we are hoping that we are spreading the interest in people raising funds for Cancer Research on their own after they see what we are doing. We are also contributing to the holiday season in a very positive way. Last, we are a very family oriented and community supporting event. We are now a tradition to many families. You cannot put a price on some of the good this display has created.
Our Wish List for a Location
Location off or near a major road
Located in Indian Trail area as we will be there almost every day from setup to take down
Two access points onto the property from the road (Entrance and Exit)
Wood line blocking the view of the display from the road
Gates at each access point to secure the location when not occupied
Cars able to be parked on the property