The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

December 13, 2013

Local light display gains national notoriety

NORMAN — A Norman family’s Christmas light display has been shining bright for locals for seven years. But this holiday season is the first year that has garnered the Downs Family Christmas Light Ministry national attention.

The family’s large LED light display is being featured on “The Great Christmas Light Fight” on ABC primetime, a new competition series in which 20 families from across America deck out their homes for the chance to win $50,000. The series premiered Dec. 9, with the Downs family featured 8 p.m. Dec. 23.

As a part of the competition rules, Kimberli and Chuck Downs had to set up, run and tear down the display without professional assistance of any kind in just 21 days.

Kimberli said the family, including the couple’s five daughters, normally take two to three months to set up the entire display, complete with various displays that twinkle and blink to seasonal music.

The family was miked and filmed starting in early October. Kimberli said the reality TV show experience was nerve-wracking at first, but they enjoyed the process and getting to know the film crew.

“It will be interesting,” she said, on seeing the finished TV show product. “Hundreds and hundreds of hours of video, and I’m interested to see what they pick out and put together.”

Kimberli said the family has yet to be informed on if they’ve won any money. But with the family hosting the display for free every year and also accepting food donations on site for Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Kimberli said money is the last thing on their minds.

“We’ve never done it to win or for the money,” she said. “We mostly just did it to get some more exposure for the display, which will help the food bank by getting more people out.”

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