LE MARS, Iowa (KELO) — At this time of year you’ll likely find many homes and businesses decorated with the holiday spirit. But one KELOLAND display is going above and beyond by decorating over two acres, and it’s all for a good cause.
From reindeer, to snowmen, to Santa Claus, you’ll find everything Christmas related here. And no we’re not at the North Pole, but rather Christmas Acres– which is one of the largest outdoor Christmas displays in the area.
It was all started by the Scheitler family over 20 years ago.
“We built this house 23 years ago and it was sitting on a corn field, so there wasn’t much, we just had some lights on some fences, and we had a few blow molds out here in the yard, and then as the trees grew over the years, the more landscaping we put in, and we just kept incorporating the Christmas with it and it’s grown to what it is today,” owns Christmas Acres, Rob Scheitler said.
Each year their Christmas display brings in hundreds of people. All of the free will donations raised go directly to help those less fortunate in the community.
“The money we take in as donations all goes to the Christian Needs Center in Le Mars, that helps buy coats, shoes, and food for those in need, and last year we were able to raise $15,000 for them,” Rob Scheitler said.
“By doing this I think we kind of inspire others by giving, and we get people that come out and help us and everyone likes to join in on the fun, but the true nature is to collect the donations and give back to the community,” Christmas Acres, Joyce Scheitler said.
Rob Scheitler says at times they’ve had 200 to 300 people walking and aweing at the sparkling lights and décor.
“Some nights we are so busy we have cars lined up for a half mile and it can be like that for 6 hours,” Rob Scheitler said.
In the display you’ll find 150,000 lights, 700 plastic figurines, and over 200 lighted sculptures.
“We started putting lights up on Labor Day this year, it took ten weeks to get everything up this year, we have to be up and ready to go the weekend before Thanksgiving,” Rob Scheitler said. “I actually crawl up in the trees and wrap the tree branches myself, that I would actually get a 12 foot ladder and 12 foot pole, that’s how we do all the evergreens, but just to hear the comments and see the looks on the kids faces.”
Many of these decorations have been donated and Scheitler finds a way to include each piece. He even has ideas for next year.
“I’ll come home a lot of nights and find stuff laying on the driveway with a note saying if you can use, use it, a lot of the stuff here is donated, a lot of the area towns gave us their old street pole decorations so we have 60 of those incorporated in the display,” Rob Scheitler said.
A place bringing holiday cheer to those who visit, while also helping those in need.
“As long we are able to do it, we are going to keep doing it,” Joyce Scheitler said.
Scheitler says the display is up every night until the end of December, unless there is bad weather.