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Lighting up the valley since 1966

By Makenna Mays, Staff Writer

The Weaver's Christmas light display is a staple of the community and often becomes a new tradition for those traveling through Franklin County during the holidays.

This beautiful display is now at roughly a 105,000-light count, but began with a single, humble strand of lights on a front porch in 1966.

“We moved here on the 16 of December in 1966, and we put up a single strand of lights on our front porch and that was the beginning,” said George Weaver.

During this time, hanging Christmas lights wasn't a common thing, so they were the first ones around them to start this tradition.

“That made us the talk of the town,” said George Weaver.

Dot and George Weaver began this light tradition, but it soon became a family affair when they decided to put a large wooden star on one of their grain bins.

In 1982, they put up a grain bin, and Dot suggested it would be nice to put a star on the top, and then the next year they added a crib at the bottom, and streamers the next year. The display continued to grow from there.

“I don't know when it got out of hand,” said Dot.

They both jokingly blame their kids for the growth of the display. George teased that if his son Greg brought home more lights, he would run an extension cord to his house and let him power the display. All jokes aside, it is a tradition they all love.

“I don't know if it was ever a question of whether we were going to do it again, we just did it every year,” said Dot.

The Weavers’ display expands every year and the decorations are either handmade or recycled from flea markets or yard sales. Greg and his wife Jenny Weaver are a huge help when it comes to finding new ideas for the display and expanding. Dot will often use a Winfield catalog for inspiration.

This year they began decorating one of the buildings in June. However, they typically bring the lights out on October 1 to begin decorating.

In their many years of putting on the display, their favorite part about doing this is watching people bring their families and hearing that it has become a tradition to bring their families. Both George and Dot drove busses for many years, and often they watch children they drove to school return to the light show with kids of their own.

“Our goal was just to light up the valley,” said George.

People have traveled far and wide to see the light display, the farthest to their knowledge being from Arizona. They also recall a couple from Cumberland, Kentucky who plan their trip out here in time for the light display.

One of Dot's favorite memories of putting on the display comes from last year when a guy from Lafayette asked if they could put something together for him to propose to his girlfriend. They were able to set up a gingerbread house with a cake inside that read “will you marry me” on it.

Anyone who walks through the display can see the love and thought that is put into each display piece. From the bakery named after Dot and the church named after George to the strategic positioning of the manger scene which is the first thing people see when they cross the covered bridge to remind people of the reason for the season—nothing in this display is an afterthought.

Even though the holiday season just started, Greg said they are always planning for the next season. The light display is on the corner of Johnson Fork Road and Snow Hill Road in West Harrison. The display will be shining brightly each night between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.

The display is free to the public. One can follow their Facebook page for updates, and it is on good authority that Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making an appearance in the Weaver's milk house and handing out candy canes on one of the upcoming weekends.