Eye on KELOLAND: Lotta Lights

Eye on KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Now that we’ve made it through Thanksgiving, we can turn our attention to the next holiday, Christmas.

Some of you have already put up your Christmas trees and turned on your Christmas lights for the season. But one of the most dazzling displays in Sioux falls has become a holiday tradition.

“We just kept getting bigger and bigger,” Scott Ihnen said.

Clark Griswold has nothing on Scott Ihnen and Ryan Borns.

For the past 15 years, they’ve been stringing Christmas lights together… A lot of lights on Lotta Avenue.

“I can’t even guess how many we have yet, we haven’t counted,” Ihnen said.

The lights on Lotta have become a holiday tradition

“Last year we counted and came up with about 25 thousand lights, but we don’t know what the number is this year, because we haven’t counted them so far,” Ihnen said.

But they are counting on a lot of families to drive by and take in the dazzling display, that’ll be programmed with various Christmas songs.

“They love it especially on military night,” Borns said.

Military night is something they’ve recently added.

“Military night, we have some veterans who come out and hopefully this year we get a couple of people with Big Paws Canine joining us, so they’ll bring their service dogs with if possible and they’ll help hand out candy canes and take donations,” Borns said.

Donations that’ll help Big Paws Canine and K9 for Warriors; two organizations that help military veterans.

“We started with K9 for Warriors two years ago and now we teamed up with Big Paws Canine, it’s a more local organization, that was our goal to get more local; K9s for Warriors is nationwide and the other one is right here in Sioux Falls,” Born said.

The two started hanging lights the day after Halloween and spend a lot of hours out here in the dark, but for them they say it’s worth it.

“Last year we raised over 15-thousand dollars and this year our goal is going to be $20 thousand dollars,” Ihnen said.

Hanging this many lights isn’t easy.

“The most frustrating part is when it gets really cold and they get all tangled together, they are so stiff you can’t separate them anymore, you have to warm them up to get them to separate,” Ihnen said.

“It’s fun unless it’s cold and crappy out,” laughs Borns.

They’ve dealt with some pretty strong winds this year, but that hasn’t stopped them.

And when it’s all lit up, this is what you’re going to see; an entire block both sides of the street decorated with Christmas lights and inflatables and that’s why people keep coming back year after year.

Their Christmas gift to the community.

“We were surprised the amount of donations we got last year because of covid and all that but I think everyone was in good spirits last year and they came out to donate, we hope people will do the same this year, we’ve had good weather, so it looks like it might be a good year again,” Ihnen said.

They would like to thank Biersbach Equipment and Neon Signs for helping out with Lights on Lotta.

If you’re interested in seeing the lights on Lotta display, the address is 311 W Lotta Street, Sioux Falls, SD.

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