Explorin’ With Loren: Top Christmas displays in the Grand Strand
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) -It’s Christmas lights galore in the Grand Strand and we highlighted the best in town. We started in Conway at Rich Berry’s house.
“I was born in December, a week before Christmas, so I always had a passion for lights and Christmas,” said Berry
And that passion shines through at his home that’s also known as The Berry’s Light Show. He creatively wired his FM transmitter so families can tune into 87.9 and listen to Christmas music that’s synced up to his 10,000 LED lights.
“I like when the families come and the kids are out here dancing on the sidewalk. They tell me how nice it looks and how good of a job I did, and how I made their day. It just makes me feel good. I feel like I can give back to the community,” he said.
Berry said it’s a year-long process to build his own decorations and two months to decorate. He walked us through his yard and pointed out some of his favorites.
“The arches, they’re made of PVC pipe. A guy named Walter Monkhouse designed the tree but I put a trampoline frame on the bottom, and it’s got a wench on it where you can wench it up.”
His vision started on his computer in the garage and the blueprint became reality. He even won first place for Conway’s Best Non-Traditional Home Display back in 2015.
“It’s a labor of love. That’s all I can say. It’s a labor of love,” said Berry.
Take a drive in your car or golf cart to Garden City, where Don Weaver’s house captures the spirit of Christmas. The professional lighting director spent 10 to 12 hours a day since November 1st, blanketing his home and yards with 212,000 lights.
“We’ve got about 13,000 feet of extension cords out, and about 12 Light-O-Rama boxes and they have 16 channels each, and all the songs are programmed to each song. Each song is totally different,” said Weaver.
And, it’s beautifully choreographed to his decorations that include blinking snowmen, light poles and Christmas trees.
“We have 27,000 lights on the snow scene with 6,000 lights on each tree,” said Weaver. “Then we have 52 lasers in the tree which lights up all the trees on the right side of the house.”
Even Santa Clause puts on a show.
“One of the things that everybody likes is the helicopter. It drops Santa Claus dropping presents,” he said.
Weaver’s been decorating for the last 15 years but it’s his first Christmas in South Carolina and he can’t wait to add more lights to his display.
“About 60,000 more next year,” he said.
If that’s even possible.
“Come out and have a good time and enjoy,” said Weaver.
We ended the tour in Carolina Forest.
“I don’t know if it’s 10,000, I don’t know if it’s 50,000. It’s a lot,” said Brandon Runnells.
And it’s fabulous! Prepare to wear shades driving down Stoney Falls Boulevard.
“I have lights going from the roof to the ground. I have Santa Clause on the roof with lights coming all the way down the roof. The entire roof is whited out,” he said.
Runnells spent the last month preparing for this show-stopping performance that includes a reindeer rodeo, inflatable penguins riding polar bears and sparkling Christmas trees. But, it’s his snow-covered walkway that he truly enjoys.
“This right here is where I put all my little trucks and tractors and put fake snow down, and put lights underneath the snow, so it glows at night and it’s really cool,” said Runnells. “I have so much stuff to where I’m sure Santee Cooper is going to like Stoney Falls electric bill this month”
That’s because Runnells not only decorated his house but decorated or helped decorate nine others on his street.
“I have donated lights, given lights, Christmas trees. There’s a Santa Clause on the end of each driveway. There’s a small tree next to the Santa’s all the way down the street,” he said.
He even surprised a couple of his neighbors.
“I’ve done a couple houses without them knowing. Overnight, they’ll wake up and the house is lit,” said Runnels.
“I don’t have kids and all the kids that live in this neighborhood, this is the most kids that have lived on our street. To watch all the cars and all the kids stop and say this is their favorite house, it just makes me want to do more and more and more.”
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