Meet Mark Houck: The man behind the Christmas lights


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The pandemic has changed the look of Christmas for many, but one thing never changes, Christmas lights. This year many in Sioux Falls went all out lighting their homes like Christmas Vacation.

You’ve probably never met Mark Houck, but you might recognize his house.

“Just build more, and more and more. Now this is what it turns into,” Mark Houck said.

Yup, he’s that guy. The “Clark Griswold” of his west side neighborhood. But Houck says he has a built in excuse.

Houck said, “my birthday is three days after Christmas, so even when I was a kid, I would literally put Christmas lights in my room and just out line the room.”

Houck loves it when people slow down to take pictures or stop and get out.

Sutton Kracke and Ellie Haugland couldn’t wait to take pictures in front of these homes just off Minnesota Avenue.

“We were screaming when we turned the corner. We love looking at the lights with my friends,” Sutton Kracke said.

“I like being with friends and going around looking at Christmas lights and I like that they did a donation for the military,” Ellie Haugland said.

Houck is proud of this year’s display.

“I enjoy the blinking lights, I’m more traditional. I don’t care for the music involved, I’m more of a just colorful blinking lights,” Houck said.

And just like his hero, Clark W. Griswold, Houck has BIG plans for next year.

“I can honestly say I still have bundles of Christmas lights that I still haven’t even opened up,” Houck said.

Something to look forward to in 2021.

Tonight on KELOLAND News at 10 p.m., photojournalist Mike Simundson takes us on a guided tour of the brightest lights and best displays in Sioux Falls. Some of the best decorations don’t come from a store, they’re hand painted, one of a kind yard art.

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