Randall Barger's Christmas gift to county
By Holly Fesperman Lee
FAITH — Randall Barger saw some dolphins made from Christmas lights when he was visiting Wilmington one Christmas and thought he could make some himself.
“That was the very beginning of me doing stuff at the house,” he said.
Barger did make those Christmas-light dolphins, and now they jump between two ponds at his home off Main Street in Faith.
A fire engine with Santa shooting water, volleyball players, Santa playing golf, a John Deere tractor with Santa and a helicopter accompany the dolphins in Barger’s light display.
“I’ve got so many things. It’s just something I’ve enjoyed. My parents used to take me when I was little to see lights,” he said.
Now Barger puts up lights for the children and adults in the area who enjoy coming to his home every year.
“That is my joy,” he said.
People are always stopping Barger and telling him how much they enjoy his lights.
“Christmas is about giving and sharing with others. I can’t give everything to everybody in the county, but this is one thing I can give them,” he said.
Barger also does a Halloween drive-through display at his home and hands out treat bags to all children. Barger said he usually hands out about 900 bags, “and the kids remember and they’ll tell me we’re coming back at Christmas,” he said.
When Barger takes down his Halloween decorations, he starts putting the Christmas items up the next day.
“It pushes you to try to get everything up,” he said.
Barger accumulated so many Christmas items from a going-out-of-business sale.
He can’t remember the name, but a Christmas store between Boone and Blowing Rock was going out of business and the owner called Barger to see if he would buy all the merchandise.
Barger had purchased items from the store a few times before, and the owner knew he enjoyed Christmas lights.
“I had to go to Marion and get them because that’s where he lived,” Barger said.
The investment increased Barger’s collection several times over.
Most of Barger’s items are handmade. He either makes or buys the Christmas light frames and then adds his own light strands.
“I try not to get anything from a Wal-Mart,” he said.
There are two things in Barger’s display that he didn’t make but he’s very proud of — two Santa Clauses that made their debut on Salisbury’s phone poles in the 1960s.
“Those were the original Santa Clauses that hung on the light poles in Salisbury,” Barger said.
When Salisbury got through with them, the town of Faith got them. When Barger was in the Faith Jaycees, the town was about to throw them away when Barger rescued them.
At the end of the display closest to his home, Barger has a cross with Jesus hanging on it. As people leave Barger’s display, they see a cross with flowers saying, “He is risen.”
Barger said he incorporates the Christian symbols “to let people know what Christmas is really about.”
Barger would love to put more lights, but “unfortunately, I’ve maxed out on my power,” he said.
He would have to install more hardware to run more lights, and copper wire is expensive.
One thing he did purchase this year was a snow machine.
On a cold night a couple weeks ago, Barger was able to make some snow, but he hasn’t made any since then because of the warm temperatures.
“It has to be about 28 degrees,” he said.
Barger was hoping for a white Christmas, but if it didn’t happen, he was planning to manufacture it himself.
“That was the whole intention for my grandchildren. So when they came over here, I would have snow for them,” he said.
Barger isn’t counting on low temperatures this Christmas. He said he’s prepared to wait for colder temperatures next year.
Barger’s lights come on at 5:30 p.m. and go off at 10:30 p.m. He lives at 1013 Deal St., but most people don’t know that street in Faith.
Visitors will be able to see his house from Main street, near Charlie’s.
Here are some other homes that have been nominated for the Electric Elf competition. Check them out for yourself:
* 6130 Sharon Road.
* 162 Rollingwood Drive, Mocksville. Take U.S. 601 North; Rollingwood Drive is behind Hardees.
* 2317 Oxford Drive, Mooresville.
* 1395 Glover Road.
* 307 N. Deal St., Kannapolis.
* 3317 Old Concord Road.
* 2520 Long Ferry Road.
Spencer winning home
The Spencer Business Association announced Wednesday that Mary Ann Clinding, of 435 Long Ferry Road, is the winner of the Spencer Home Christmas Light Contest.
The association’s Marketing Committee judged homes from all over the town of Spencer and had many great participants, according to Daniel Almazan, of Grand Central.
“But Ms. Clinding has truly gone above and beyond to show her Christmas spirit,” Almazan wrote.
She received a $100 prize from the Business Association.
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