You’re invited to take a walk through one of the biggest Christmas Village displays you’ll ever lay eyes on.
Featuring 163 houses and more than 1,000 people and characters, Sandy Point Resort and RV Park on Gull Lake’s west side will hold a Christmas Village Open House every Wednesday and Saturday starting Nov. 30 until Jan. 4 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
June Macintosh is behind the large display, a collection which has taken her the past 30 years to assemble.
“I just love Christmas. I love putting this together and want people to come and enjoy it,” she said. “A lot of people enjoy this stuff.”
The majority of her collection comes from Lemax, which has been putting out vintage styled lighted houses since 1990, while other pieces come from Department 56. Depending on the intricacy and detail of the house – if it has moving parts or music – houses can range from $50 to over $200 apiece, meaning Macintosh as invested a small fortune in the village.
Her husband bought her the first couple houses that got her started, and over the years it has grown from a quaint little village into more of a small town or city.
Now, it takes her two dedicated weeks to set the display up, from figuring out the wiring of each of the homes, and hide it from view, to the layout of each themed “neighbourhood.” Separate from the main display is a whole eastern village, complete with lighthouses, yacht club, wharf, ships, and characters ice fishing, which is an homage to her time living on the east coast.
A dusting of snow (the fake kind) and glitter is also added to make the display not just shine at night, but sparkle.
“I like to have fun with it,” she said. “I want it to tell a story.”
Patrons will have the opportunity to see if they can figure out the story themselves – or just take in the whole display starting this Saturday.
There will be guiding directions to help people find the showhome where the display is once they reach Sandy Point, and the gate will be open during open house hours.
Refreshments will be available, and donations will be accepted for the Gifts for Grandparents program out of Bentley.
“It’s for grandparents who are in homes that have no family and we take the donations to the school, and they buy them gifts,” she said. “We did it last year and raised $130.”
Not around during those times, want to have a special appointment, or bring a whole group? Group bookings are available. For more information, phone June Macintosh at (403)318-4240.