Lights out for award winning xmas display

Shane and Debbie Horswill's Christmas lights display.
Shane and Debbie Horswill's Christmas lights display.

CHRISTMAS has always been a time to shine for Shane and Debbie Horswill.

Decorating their home with hundreds of thousands of lights, the Jindalee couple are renowned for having one of the best and brightest Christmas light displays.

But it's an 11 year tradition that Mr Horswill said he and his wife would sadly have to break this year, after recent storms destroyed their award-winning display.

With hail stones as large as golf balls, the 46-year-old said the storm damaged many of his festive props as well as more than 800 sets of lights.

"It was absolutely devastating," Mr Horswill said.

"In the 10 minutes it took for the storm to pass, a year's worth of preparation and work was destroyed."

Mr Horswill said this year's display was to be his most spectacular yet with a children's maze, an arbour and around 200,000 lights.

"Being able to put these lights on each year for the community has been very dear to my wife and I," he said.

"It's always great to witness the smiles on people's faces and see how much the children enjoy it."

Since first taking part in the annual tradition, the couple have been showcased in a book that featured Australia's best Christmas light displays and won eight awards.

"We have a lot of people wondering if we will be switching the lights on this year," he said.

"But I've had to say no...I'd rather not run it at all then run it with so much of the display damaged."

Though the couple's Christmas spirit has been dampened this year, both said the setback had not dissuaded them for lighting up the house next Christmas.

"If anything, we are more determined for next year's display to make up for the loss of this year's," Mr Horswill said.

Topics:  christmas lights

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