Family tradition: Lashbrook Christmas exhibit in full swing after 29 years | News

IIf you find yourself driving along Kentucky 54, be sure to stop by Jeff Lashbrook on Indian Creek Loop in the Stonegate Subdivision and say hello to his 20ft tall 3D snowman named Fred, which is made up of 10,000 Christmas lights and dressed up to the nine.

The Lashbrook family are celebrating the 29th anniversary of their “Owensboro Christmas Lights” exhibit, which premiered November 27.

Since moving to the Stonegate neighborhood in 1992, the Lashbrook family’s exhibit has grown from a few decorated bushes to grand Christmas themes with colorful and glamorous driving and strolling scenes that catch the eye of Owensboro and beyond.

The tradition stems from the fond memories Lashbrook had with his grandfather.

“I know my grandfather had wreaths in every window,” Lashbrook said. “I guess that’s how it started. I just wanted to do a little more, you know…. “

At one point, the screen consisted of over 300,000 lights, but Lashbrook admits he lost count after switching to LED lights in recent years.

“Usually I can tell with the other powers how much electricity we used, how much light we had,” Lashbrook said. “Now, with the others, I really can’t say it at all. … It’s probably not as much as the (300,000) because you get by with less lights with the newer ones…. “

Some of the lights that Lashbrook uses today are from when he began displaying.

“We try to make it fancy and not just (stuff) thrown around,” Lashbrook said with a laugh. “We also try to make it look pretty. “

The tradition has grown into a family affair, with the help of his wife Connie, his son Tyler setting up an exhibit at his home in Louisville, his daughters Kelsey and Jessica, and the latter’s husband Josh Fisher. Lashbrook said they started construction in mid-October and the exhibit is generally ready for public viewing shortly after Thanksgiving.

“I work full time (on this) on weekends, (and) all week, I work there for about two or three hours,” Lashbrook said.

But the work does not start in the second half of the year.

“Everyone thinks it’s just October through January 1, but we’re working on doing things (like) one thing year round,” Lashbrook said.

The scenes designed and scattered around the Lashbrook estate are based on his family, bringing back memories of when he and Connie got married and raised their children, and depict many classic Christmas themes, such as a nativity scene built in hand, a snowman, a penguin playground, trains and a two-way wooden path leading to a Toyland scene with wreaths, a bench for families to take photos and a custom fireplace structure.

As hundreds of cars pass by each year to view the display, Lashbrook began to see more faces pass after the display was featured in the second season of ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” in 2014. .

“It looked like it had really picked up that year, and I guess every year since,” Lashbrook said. “… This year it looks like there is less car traffic than we have had in years, but foot traffic is the highest ever…. One night it looked like it was (the) downtown river.

Lorie Beavin of Owensboro has been visiting the exhibit for about six years, bringing her daughter Abbie and Abbie’s cousins ​​Adalynn and Connor Millay.

“I take their picture every year, and it’s just fun to compare how much they’ve grown,” Beavin said.

Kacie Carter of Owensboro notes that she enjoys seeing the illuminated ornaments hanging in the trees and how much her daughters, Mia, 5, and Emmi, 2, have enjoyed going out for the past three years.

“I just love to see their reactions when we come over,” Carter said. “It’s always fun.”

Lashbrook’s passion goes beyond annual design.

As well as having a virtual Santa Claus visible from one of the bedrooms, Lashbook volunteers to play the damn cheerful character for the crowd, while also hosting a ‘Christmas in Stonegate’ neighborhood effort, where they raise money for local organizations.

This year they raised funds for Borrowed Hearts Owensboro and Wendell Foster.

“We saw that we had so many people and thought we could do something for the community as well,” said Lashbrook.

With nearly three decades under his belt, Lashbrook still enjoys exhibiting, although it can be physically tiring at times, and he hopes his grandchildren take an interest in the tradition and keep it alive in the future.

“… I might be a little crazy, I don’t know anymore,” Lashbrook joked. “I know my body doesn’t want to do it anymore. I mean, it’s a lot of work … “

One of Lashbrook’s grandsons, 7-year-old Bryce Pedley, has already been helping his grandfather turn on the lights for two years.

“What I love is that I turn on the lights… and every time I’m done I can walk into the house, and it’s really cool to see them all on,” he said. he declares.

Although it takes just over a month to set up each year, Lashbrook said the family are able to take the screen apart in four to five days.

While Lashbrook has said they haven’t added too much to this year’s layout, he’s already thinking about December 2022.

“(We’re going to) (have) a Grinch – like an 18 foot Grinch,” Lashbrook said. “It’s going to look over a fence, kind of peek.”

For more information regarding display times and updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/owensborkchristmaslights.


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