Wider Horizons

The skilful art of strategically hanging 14,000 twinkling lights programmed to a soundtrack of epic Scott Grovesproportions is not for the faint of heart, but for one fearless family man, it’s been his legacy to Lethbridge.

What started out as a fun way to spend quality time with his family has developed into an eight-year-long adventure for Scott Groves (Nursing 1994). The proud owner and creator of the must-see 14 Street South house during the holidays, Groves proves time and determination are all you need to produce a light show spectacular.

The catalyst for the house that Groves lit came from disappointment at their annual Christmas light drive-by tour, and Groves decided to motivate others by making his own display. Fast-forward to Christmas 2015 and Groves has a radio channel, 106.1 FM, where visitors can sit in their vehicles and watch as the house lights up in time with the beat of music. Groves dedicates several hundred hours each year to the project, including an hour of time for each 10 seconds of lighting visitors see.

Creating critically-acclaimed Christmas lighting isn’t all this father of four does. Groves is a registered nurse of almost 20 years, spending the majority of his career at the Chinook Regional Hospital’s ICU ward.

Groves’ wife Nancy also works in local health care as an aide, while one daughter has completed the first year of her LPN program at the college and the other is enrolled to start that same program this fall.

Designing and making the light show is a family affair; Groves’ son Caleb takes particular glee in helping his dad. Caleb suffers from mild to moderate autism and looking at Christmas lights has always been something the pair loves to do together. Groves says his son was the initial inspiration for their annual pilgrimage searching for neighbourhood Christmas displays.

Next-door neighbours Craig and Susan Evanoff were thrilled when their neighbours moved to the area two years ago from Tudor Estates. Susan Evanoff chuckles when she describes the scene outside her home during the holidays. A sea of the smiling children and families brings her and her husband great joy.

“We really enjoy having them as next door neighbours,” says Susan Evanoff. “We don’t have any kids so it’s nice to live so close to such funny and lovely kids.”

When Groves reflects on his time dedicated to spreading holiday cheer, he’s content with his past efforts but always wants to do more, including more sequences and more lights, making the display bigger and brighter every year. With the Lethbridge Christmas light market squared away, Groves says he has a special holiday wish for Santa this year – to go viral on YouTube.

Wider Horizons
Meagan Williams
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