Hoggard Christmas Wonderland of Lights

Hoggard Christmas Wonderland of Lights is located in Windsor in North Carolina. It involves five miles of electric wires and cords. The resulting display is one of the largest shows of Christmas lights in the state of North Carolina. The display is a show of love for one family to their late daughter. It is their way of remembering her in the absence.
 
The Hoggard brothers are triplets; Therman, Herman, and Sherman. They were born with 30 seconds between them. Their years are filled with Christmas thoughts and how to make each year’s display better than the last.

History

The Hoggard’s are known in North Carolina as the Christmas Light Men. In 1991, Carolyn Hoggard left home for school and got in a fatal accident. She never made it back home. She was 16 years old. She left behind two sisters, Jennifer and Nickie, and their parents.
 
According to Therman Hoggard, Christmas was Carolyn’s favorite holiday. She especially loved Christmas lights. A few years after her death, Carolyn’s family started building Christmas ornaments. Therman built the angel with the help of his two daughters and wife. They then built other little pieces of Christmas. They began a Christmas tradition that they would then share with the whole state.
 
At first, they did decorations all around their home. Therman’s wife would put up decorations in every room in the house. Herman was also doing similar décor nearby, in Richmond, Virginia. He returned to Windsor in 2004. It was then that the brothers decided to merge their displays.
 

The Decorations

There are a number of ornaments all around the lights. Most of the decorations are hand-made. The brothers claim this makes the decorations feel real. Over the years, the Hoggard family has collected many amazing artifacts. They decorate the area around the Christmas lights. Some of these are;
 
1. The Grinch
 
Herman Hoggard is particularly proud of this Grinch. He found it on eBay and claims it was a crucial find. It felt like a missing piece for the collection.
 
The Grinch is inflatable and always so much fun to put up. It has become a favorite among the younger crowd. The first thing children ask for when they show up is the location of the Grinch.
 
2. Santa Claus
 
There is no Christmas without Santa Claus. In 2015, Herman Hoggard found an inflatable African American Santa Claus. It tied the whole ensemble together.
 
The African American community is a huge supporter of Hoggard’s efforts. Herman’s goal is to make each member of his community feel supported. The Santa inflatable joined the many holiday scenes under the lights.
 
3. Gingerbread villages
 
4. Polar bears
 
Because you cannot bring Santa out of the North Pole without some of his friends.
 

The Lights

There are more than 550,000 lights at the Hoggard Christmas Wonderland of Lights. They are on eight and a half acres of land. The lights are outside Therman’s house in Windsor.
 
The job of putting up the lights is a tough one, but worth it. The resulting Christmas lights display is magnificent. Thousands of visitors flock Therman’s home to witness the lights.
 
In the months leading to November, work on the lights involves;
 
· Painting
 
· Wiring
 
· Building

The Telephone Poles

The brothers spend most of their time thinking about how they can improve the displays. One of their greatest displays is the telephone poles. There is a thicket of telephone poles in the back of Therman’s compound. The brothers were thinking about what to do with the space. They almost pulled them out when they had a great idea.
 
They hung strands of lights from the top of the poles. The lights flare outward, forming a kind of invisible Christmas tree. They then added stars at the top of the poles for a complete Christmas tree look.
 
The poles were a great attraction for the visitors. People kept asking about them. Some completely missed the idea that they resembled Christmas trees. Therman said they kept asking when the trees were added to the backyard. They had completely missed the telephone poles in prior visits.

Preparation

Work on the lights starts promptly on September 1st. The brothers spend between eight and ten hours each day working on the displays. Some of the neighbors and family members help out with the work. The work involves;
 
· Driving 700 stakes into the ground. These are used to hold about 350 silhouettes up.
 
· Running 1400 extension cords to supply electricity for the lights.
 
Working on the lights is a yearly thing for the Hoggard triplets. They spend months prior just thinking and building decorations.

Schedule

The lights are available for viewing every November and December. The Hoggard Christmas Wonderland of Lights is open every day. The lights are on from;
 
Sunday to Thursday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
 
Friday and Saturday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
 
The lights are turned off on January 1st.
 
The display has been up for the last 25 years. The lights have gone up yearly without fail. They allow visitors to take photos with the decorations. The Grinch and Santa are famous photo contenders as they are more popular. They charge no fees to drive through the lights. Donations are however accepted. The donations help with the maintenance of the lights and other small repairs.

Hoggard’s Christmas Wonderland of lights has gained a lot of popularity over the years. This is mainly through social media. Visitors share photos and videos of the display on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. It has helped in attracting more people to view the lights in person. People have come from as far as Australia and India for the one-on-one experience.
 
The brothers, now 70 years old, are unsure how long the lights will continue to go on. Age is a limiting factor, together with the health issues faced by each of them. They are proud of the work they have done for their Carolyn. It is a great way to honor Therman’s daughter.