25 years sharing Christmas joy

IT’S official, Christmas season is here: West Ballina resident Pat Kennedy turned on his 80,000-light display and welcomed the first group of families to his home in Riverside Dr on Sunday night.

Just after 7.30pm, Mr Kennedy got the silly season started, after a couple of tentative tried earlier that evening.

“Everything was so damp after that rain that I had to be careful, but that’s OK because everyone is so happy about the rain,” he said.

The Ballina resident confirmed this year the display ‘only’ includes 80,000 lights.

“I had no chance to put anything on top of the ceiling this year, otherwise it would have been close to 120,000 lights,” he said.

Mr Kennedy grew his beard for the last eight weeks, got his Santa outfit ready and started preparing and setting up the many displays.

He has more than three thousand lollies to give away from Sunday and until December 30.

After Christmas Day, he said, he won’t wear his Santa suit anymore, but the display will still be on until the end of the year.

“It gets busier after the school break up and the last week before Christmas.”

TRADITION: Pat Kennedy at his West Ballina home lighting up his Christmas decorations for the 25th time on Sunday night.
TRADITION: Pat Kennedy at his West Ballina home lighting up his Christmas decorations for the 25th time on Sunday night.

Mr Kennedy said he decided to start brightening the neighbourhood’s Christmas some 25 years ago.

“I lived in Armidale all my life and I never saw Christmas lights before, until we moved here,” he said.

“I thought ‘gee, I’d like to do that a bit!’

“I just kept going ever since.

“I have done every ornament myself, install it and organiser every single on of the 80,000 lights we have on.”

Mr Kennedy said it used to be very expensive to run the Christmas display.

“It’s not as bad now as it used to be when I started,” he said.

“Back then I could only run up to 40,000 lights, because now they are LED and they use a lot less power.”


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