Leland man decks the halls one last time with 50,000 lights

Leland man decks the halls one last time with 50,000 lights
Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 10:55 AM EST
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - If you’ve lived in the area for the past three or four Christmases, you may have passed by Tyler Ford’s home in Leland.

“We have about just over 50 thousand lights,” said Ford. “It changes every year.”

Every year, Ford puts up thousands of lights and two miles of wires, all in one front yard to spread some Christmas cheer.

“It is awesome. When the kids come out and they just start looking up in these trees and you see them smiling, that is worth its weight in gold to me.”

Ford says crowds drive through his Leland neighborhood night after night to enjoy his light display but they give back too in the form of canned goods. The collection goes to Love of Christ Ministry in Bolivia.

“Last year was a record year for us. I attribute that to COVID.,” said Ford. “We raised 7,200 pounds of food through our resources to distribute to those through Brunswick County.”

The only problem is the end of this holiday season will be the end of this holiday tradition too — at least around here.

“I’m active duty military, so, unfortunately, after three or four years, we have to transfer to a new duty station and all the lights and stuff come with me and wherever it is I do go, we’ll find a new food bank, we’ll put up the lights and do the same thing.”

It’s bittersweet as Ford gets to plan a new display layout at his new home but leaves behind his friendly neighbors in Leland. Still, he’s hopeful the Christmas spirit will continue to shine brightly long after he’s gone.

“We’ve been blessed to have the absolute best neighbors in the world. They’re all very supportive. I’ve seen more and more lights in our neighborhood increasing. Everyone’s always excited to come by.”

The magic at the Ford house begins each night at 5:30 on Buff Court. All Ford asks is that you drive slowly through the neighborhood.

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