For a spectacular Christmas lights show here in Stettler – that has grown into a popular seasonal tradition – check out the Maruk home located at 4209 – 63rd St.
Show times start at around 5:30 p.m. and run until about 10 p.m.
Normally, collections are taken for the local Food Bank but because of heightened COVID-19 restrictions, Steve Maruk said that is unfortunately not going to happen this year.
Still, he encourages folks to come on out and enjoy the extensive light display. “I’m encouraging everyone to be nice to each other, to shop local and to try and support everyone in the community that we can,” he said.
For Maruk, putting it all together is a fun experience all its own.
“It’s kind of a fun hobby,” he added with a laugh. “I don’t think I could stop it now – a lot of people count on it,” he added with a laugh. “People comment that it’s a highlight of the year to come to town, do some visiting and then come by and have a look. Their kids love it, too.
“It just makes everybody happy.”
He’s also grateful for the support the community has always shown over the years.
“Our Facebook page has a pretty good following,” he said, referring to how well-supported the project really is. “There are lots of comments for sure, and last year, we raised over $1,000 in cash.”
That’s not including the generous donations of food as well that had to be continually dropped off at the Food Bank.
Looking back, Maruk said he started the lights in 2014.
He used to work overseas, and one year, he was missing Christmas, so he was watching some videos and saw these lights on YouTube.
He started tracking down equipment, bringing much of it up initially from the U.S.
He started out the first year with one controller. It ties into a signal adapter and then it ‘talks’ to the lap top.
”Everything is controlled from the lap top and each channel of light is plugged into this controller – and away you go!”
The following year he decided to go bigger, plus the amount of traffic coming through the first year sparked the idea that the event could be used as a means of giving back to the community as well.
That’s when the donations to the Food Bank were launched.
The family put a bin out in front of the house, and folks were invited to bring a non-perishable item to drop off.
As mentioned, he ended up delivering truckloads of food over to the Stettler Food Bank – a huge reflection of the level of local generosity.
In the meantime, his desire to expand the display only grew. The year after that, Maruk said he landed another controller and extended the display even further.
And last year, he ventured into the realm of the pixel lights.
He has also pointed out that he lost count at around 5,000 bulbs.
This year proved a bit tougher to get some new equipment to add, as it seems others had ideas for similar displays.
But not to worry – it’s still a delightful and dazzling display.
“There has been a lot of disappointments this year,” he said of the range of event cancellations due to the ongoing pandemic.
“So I don’t think this is a problem – I can just run it as normal and encourage everybody to support local and be nice! I’ve seen a lot of bad stuff out there,” he said, referring to the stresses and troubling issues that the pandemic has caused overall.
And on that note, he loves seeing the community’s enthusiastic reaction to the display.
For more information, check out ‘Maruk Family Christmas Lights’ on Facebook.