GREENVILLE – Dick Brown, Greenville class of 1964 and Miami University 1968 alum is in his 31st year decorating for Christmas with a massive light display at his home.
“Everybody can drive back through the driveway,” said Brown. “We are giving out Christmas cards this year to the people who come through and we have given out over 3,000 already.”
Brown first began putting up Christmas lights and displays in 1985 at his former home at 204 Chippewa Drive in Greenville and continues the tradition at his current location at 5480 Requarth Road, just east of Greenville.
As of Monday, December 18th, Brown will have already passed out 10,000 candy canes to visitors and looks to shatter his all-time high of 12,000 per year with 15,000 to 16,000 free candy canes this Christmas season.
“Last year we only had 10,800 but that was because the last three days it was so cold that nobody gave any of it out,” Brown noted. “It all depends on the weather this year, it’s not supposed to get that bad this week.”
Many large lighted Christmas displays charge to drive through their display while the local display is free to all. Brown has added to his already huge display this year.
“There is more out than before because I put a lot of little extra things and I have a lot of new things this year,” he said. “People keep wanting to throw money at us but I don’t want that. I tell them to give it to a charity of their choice.”
The Christmas display is a year-round project that Brown prefers to do by himself.
“People can’t believe I do it all myself,” said Brown. “I don’t want to tell people what to do because you don’t know whether things are going to work right and you improvise as you go. It’s easier to do it the way it comes out but a lot of people have offered to help.”
“It’s a year-round project,” he continued. “I spend the summer testing all the lights in the garage and barn and then I started September 9th this year to put things on the bushes and the trees. I couldn’t put it on the ground until October 23rd when was the last mowing of the grass – but I wish I could go earlier than that but it won’t work with the grass.”
The Christmas lights will be on through New Year before Brown pulls the switch and waits for warmer weather to take it all down and immediately start working on next season’s extravaganza.
“I won’t take it down until March,” Brown stated. “I may take some of the bigger things out early but it gets too frozen in the ground, it’s too hard to get things in, the stakes and things like that.”
“Usually, we go through New Year’s, a couple of days after but not much after that,” said Brown. “Then things start to come apart, sections will go out and we don’t want to spend the effort putting it back together and a lot of times it gets frozen, the lines and I don’t want to mess with them.”
Brown’s Christmas card states, “Thank you for visiting and come back again. Dick Brown, Brandy Hill, and Betsy Reiber in memory of our leader, Dianne Brown.”