BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — A South Dakota State freshman and longtime Brookings resident transformed a Christmas light display into a yellow and blue light display synced with the school song to celebrate the national champion SDSU football team.
Nick Teal is in his first year studying electronics engineering technology at SDSU. However, the idea of starting the light display came when COVID hit in March of 2020.
“It was kind of gloomy part in the world, and I just wanted to bring some cheer. I’ve always been interested in electronics and lighting and it just seemed like the right time,” Teal said.
Now he’s been putting up the lights for three years, expanding into Christmas and Halloween-themed displays.
“I think I’m up to about 5,000 lights in the total display,” Teal said.
Teal won first place in the Brookings “Let it Glow” Christmas light contest this past year. The lights barely got a break before Teal worked to sync them to SDSU’s fight song “Ring the Bell.”
“They were off for maybe 12 hours Saturday night, and then Sunday right after the game I turned them on as soon as we had won,” Teal said.
Once he knew the Jacks had a pretty good chance of winning Sunday, he got to work programming the SDSU-themed display during the second half of the national championship.
“Pulled the music and synced it up with the lights, so I took some of the favorite designs that people had liked at the Christmas light display, turned them yellow and blue and celebrated the win for the Jackrabbits,” Teal said.
People in the neighborhood, including SDSU alum and faculty member Mattie Kerr, have enjoyed the festive display.
“It’s been awesome for the neighborhood. They said they’ve gotten a lot of traffic, so that’s always cool to hear, and everyone loves to cheer for the Jacks, so why not?” Kerr said.
The Yellow and Blue light display is on Derdal Drive here in Brookings and will run through this weekend until 10 o’clock every night.
“I’ve always been a lifelong Jackrabbits fan, and what better to do than celebrate the win with ‘The Pride’ playing and sync it up with the lights. I thought it was a pretty cool idea and it clearly has been. It just took off. I wasn’t expecting it,” Teal said.
Teal plans take some of the lights in the yard down and then creating a smaller Valentine’s Day display this year, too.
You can watch the full display in the video player above. Video courtesy: Nick Teal