Popular holiday light display will live on near Leduc
Couple donates massive Leduc Country Lights collection to local volunteer group
An impressive Christmas light display that dazzled visitors to Doug and Yvonne Ruel's property for 14 years has a new home.
The couple donated their massive light and ornament collection to the Kinsmen Club of Leduc after retiring the project last winter.
"I had probably about eight or 10 offers from people that wanted to buy it all, but I'd just as soon give it away to the community so people can enjoy it," Doug Ruel said.
Leduc Country Lights, attracting up to 60,000 visitors each year, became too big for the couple to manage.
The Kinsmen club partnered up with an outdoor heritage museum, Leduc West Antique Society, to take on the project.
"The Kinsmen and antique society came together and said, 'We would carry it on and make you proud,'" Ruel said. "So we gave them everything."
The Kinsmen club was excited at the prospect of taking over a beloved local tradition, said member and Leduc Country Lights chairman Kevin Eklund.
"It was a very easy decision for us to take this over and we just want to carry on the tradition that the Ruel family started," Eklund said.
"For a lot of people, not just from Leduc but all over the place, part of their Christmas tradition was to come to this light display."
Volunteers have already started setting up the enormous light collection, which fills nine shipping containers.
"We're estimating that there are three million bulbs roughly," Eklund said. "That's the best way I can sum it up. Miles and miles and miles of lights."
The new winter wonderland will stretch out over 80 acres and incorporate buildings and objects on display at the antique society, five kilometres west of Leduc, Eklund said.
"That's going to make this walk-through very, very unique and, we're hoping, very popular."
The Leduc Country Lights will be on display Nov. 30 to Jan. 1.
Admission will cost $2, with the money used to maintain the attraction.
Visitors are also encouraged to bring a donation for the Leduc Food Bank.