WEST VALLEY CITY — It started as a hobby, mixed with a little bit of neighborly competition, and is now a full-on Christmas show.
Each year, Robbie Gowers’s Christmas lights display brings thousands of people to his West Valley neighborhood.
“It started with my wife asking me to hang icicle lights on our home 11 years ago,” Gowers said. “Now I can’t even tell you how much I’ve spent on the lights.”
Sixty thousand lights are currently on display around his home at 6388 S. Wakefield Way. But this year, the show almost didn’t happen.
“I didn’t even know if I could do it this year because I broke my leg in August, and the doctor said no standing on it for long and no ladders,” Gowers said. “So, I put out a post on Facebook asking if someone could help me.”
The response was bigger than Gowers could have hoped for. Community members and complete strangers alike stepped up. Lights started going up earlier this month.
“I saw the post and thought: I have to help. I’ve seen those lights before and I just know how important it is to Robbie,” said Dayton Packer, one of the many who answered Gowers's plea for help.
The help was especially important to Gowers because of his relationship with the Mascot Miracles Foundation and Children and the Earth charities, which benefit sick children and their families. While the holiday display is free to the public, its creator accepts donations on the the charities' behalf.
Gowers said the annual event brings in thousands of dollars for the organizations.
This year, 8-year-old Sam Boss was selected through the charities to help flip the switch on opening night. “I feel special, and I hope everybody gets to do this,” she said.
Sam was one of hundreds who showed up at the lighting ceremony Thursday night. Gowers said the event was a hit especially with the young children.
“Watching them dance and cheer, that’s what it’s all about,” he said. "You can't change that feeling. It's just magic."
Gowers’s free display will run Sunday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., through Jan 1.
We're sorry, currently this live video stream is only available inside of Utah or an approved RSL broadcast territory.
We base your location on your IP address. Some providers IP addresses may show your location outside of the state, even though you are physically within the state boundaries. For more information about RSL on KSL, please see our FAQ.