It's a lot of work, Tim Adams admits, to decorate the Red Osier Landmark Restaurant in Stafford. But it's worth it when he sees a kid's face light up to see all of the sparkling colors that are spread around the property.
"We had a customer last night that called the display 'magical,' which is pretty cool," Adams said during Saturday's free Community Christmas event.
He spends five or six weeks putting up the lights each year. He gets some help, but does most of the work himself. Christmas is his favorite time of year, he said.
"It's nice to see all the kids who enjoy and appreciate the lights, because there's really not a lot of places to go and see something like this," Adams said.
Adams and partner Steve Foster started the annual tradition seven years ago, about the same time the annual light display on Fargo Road was ending its long run as the county's premier Christmas light destination. Adams and Foster decided the best way to show off their holiday light display was to host a free Community Christmas, which they did this past weekend.
They offered a food trailer, carriage rides, a visit with Santa, and, of course, a chance to walk through and around the light displays provided for free to the community. The holiday tour at the Route 5 restaurant came with some help from the volunteers of Stafford Fire Department.
"We wanted to do something nice for Stafford and our local communities," Adams said.
The tradition actually began about a month before the official season of Santa Claus, Foster said.
"I think what made it right for us, and it happens every year, is on Thanksgiving, we weren't having Thanksgiving dinner until later, and we were out doing Christmas lights, and a van full of kids came through and said, 'Merry Christmas. We love your Christmas lights.' That's why we do it," Foster said.
Red Osier is also once again collecting holiday-time donations. This year the donations are going to Toys for Tots, Western New York Heroes, Little Tots, and the community pantry at St. James Episcopal Church.
Photos by Howard Owens.