ELKHART — One hundred thousand Christmas lights. That’s the milestone the Cart family has reached this year on its 10th-of-a-mile Christmas display on the north side of Elkhart.
“I got my love of Christmas lights from my mom,” Rod Cart said. “My mom decorated the inside of the house and I always thought when I had my own home, I’d decorate the outside.”
It started with a string of lights across the front of the house in 1991 and grew from there.
For over 20 years, Rod Cart and his family have been setting up continually growing display of Christmas lights. Cart even added a round-about to his own driveway to make for an easier trek by vehicle.
“How happy this makes people,” Cart said. “They’ve been coming up here all week. How can I let them down?”
Cart spends the majority of his nights after Thanksgiving greeting guests who pass by his house with conversation and candy canes.
“It’s to the point that people really love this more than I love it,” he said. “I like to spread the joy. There’s too much bad stuff in the world; it’s nice to have something positive going.”
Last year 7,400 vehicles passed through the Cart’s driveway to see their Christmas lights and Cart passed out 16,000 candy canes. A video online received 196,000 views.
The display is so massive that Cart must count his lights in order to track the power they use. He estimates an increase of as much as $500 a month in electrical expenses just to put the Christmas light show on. They begin setting up in September.
Those that have seen the lights continue to return, many every year. So the Carts continue to expand their show. This year, Cart’s reindeer display has been made into the Reindeer Games, which in this case, is football, and Rudolph, as always, isn’t allowed to play.
There are popular attractions, including unicorns and rainbows, a snowman village, minions and a mega tree.
The Cart family’s Christmas light display can be found at the family home, 51125 Woodhaven Drive, Elkhart. They’re open every day from 5:30 to 10 p.m through the season.