After 50+ Years, Eastern Iowa Family’s Light Display to End
For generations, families have made an annual trek to see another family's holiday light display. That tradition is coming to an end shortly after Christmas this year.
It all started back in the mid-1960s. That was the first time that Carolyn and Larry Kersten put lights in their front yard. Their daughter Heidi told Vinton Newspapers that her mom and dad started small:
They started with a single tree and it continued to grow. Mom and dad loved Christmas. They didn’t have a lot themselves growing up. They wanted to share the joy of Christmas with whoever wanted to see it.
Like virtually every tradition, the family had no idea what lighting up that one tree would turn into. Within just a handful of years, the display had grown to thousands of lights. What's been so unusual and special about the Kersten Christmas Light Display is that each of the displays through the years was actually built by the family. That's part of what makes the decision to end the display.
Larry Kersten passed away in 1999 and Carolyn three years later. For the last 20 years, Heidi has continued to spearhead the longtime family tradition. However, even though she says she'll still have some lights next year, she'll be scaling way back due to her health.
The Kersten Christmas Light Display truly is traditional. To this day it has no LED bulbs, according to Vinton Newspapers. You can see it Monday through Thursday nights from 5 to 9:30 p.m. It's open Friday through Sunday nights from 5 to 10 p.m. The final night is Monday, December 27. Located north of Vinton, it has a Mt. Auburn address of 5598 22nd Avenue Trail. Go see it one last time.