Sharon and Steve stage sparkling spectacular

December 21, 2018


A couple from Exeter are raising money for FORCE this year with arguably the most spectacular display of Christmas lights in the city.

For the fourth year in a row, Steve and Sharon Smith from St Thomas have transformed the front garden of their home into a winter wonderland for all to enjoy.

Every night, from about 5pm to 10.30pm, they both dress up in their Christmas clobber to greet the many visitors who descend upon Myrtle Road.

Sharon, 55, said: “We are out here every night and like seeing other people enjoying it. Children love it, especially when we put the snow machine on.

Christmas spirit

“It really gets us in the Christmas spirit and other people say it doesn’t feel like Christmas until they come here.”

The task of setting up the display begins after Halloween and they were switched on for the first time on December 1. People come from far and wide to see them.

Steve, 58, said: “A neighbour two doors up had a baby in the neonatal unit and asked if we would make our house look festive to help raise money for the unit.

“Unfortunately they had to move but as we agreed to it we rocked on with it anyway.

Local support

“That first year we probably had half of what we have got now, and we still raised over £900 for the neonatal unit.

“Our neighbours liked what we did so much that they asked if we were going to do it again the next year so we did.”

Each year the Smith’s have raised money for different local causes. In 2018, they raised £1,800 for Hospiscare.

This year they chose FORCE and they are hoping to raise more than they ever have before because the festive display is the biggest and best it’s ever been.

Community minded

New additions include an igloo, snowman, inflatable nutcracker, and a festive lantern.

Steve said: “Sharon is disabled and I’m her full-time carer. This is our way of giving something back to the community.

“We buy it all in the sales if we can. We probably have spent a fortune but we’ve never added it up because it would be too scary!

“We do get items donated from shops such as B&Q in Newton Abbot, who gave us the snow dog, and Tesco and Sainsbury’s provide the mince pies, hot chocolate and sweets we offer to people when they come to the house. We call them elf treats.

“Our electric bill is only about an extra £3 to £4 a day because it’s all 12 volt LED lights we use.”

“We do get items donated from shops such as B&Q in Newton Abbot who gave us the snow dog, and Tesco and Sainsbury’s provide the mince pies, hot chocolate and sweets we offer to people when they come to the house. We call them elf treats.

Special visitor

“Our electric bill is only about an extra £3 to £4 a day because it’s all 12 volt LED lights we use.”

The Smiths are hoping to be able something extra special on Christmas Eve. The festive display will stay until January 5.

Father Christmas will also be visiting until Christmas Eve, when he gets a little busy elsewhere.

FORCE Community Fundraiser Naomi Cole said: “Wow! What an amazing display. We have had such great feedback from so many of our supporters, who have made special trips to Myrtle Road to see the spectacular efforts that Steve and Sharon have made. We are very grateful for their support.”

Thanks also to Andrew Cleave and Megan Lodge for their fantastic light display in Thorverton and to everyone else supporting FORCE this Christmas and throughout the year.

Season’s greetings to you all!

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