Holiday lights ignite soon at annual Western-themed display
By Christopher Amos
Workers are busily displaying lights and decorations for one of the area’s most familiar holiday light displays, and it will still take weeks of work to complete the glistening show.
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Ron McBee, owner of Western Heritage Furniture & Accessories and The Design Center Furniture & Décor, side-by-side home furnishing stores between Sweetwater Dr. and Coyote Run on Fort Worth Hwy. east of Hudson Oaks, has for years been flashing Christmas cheer for all to see on their way to Weatherford.
According to McBee, it takes two months for his staff to put the decorations up and a month to take them down.
“So, basically, we are doing decorations three months out of the year.”
Employee Jason Cox carefully maneuvers a forklift while co-worker Bryce Kleven strings hundreds of feet of wire high on a grand archway that will welcome visitors with sparkling spender. Colored Christmas trees crowd for attention along the driveway while holiday figures and cacti twinkle close to the main road. The display is dazzling while keeping with the Western ambient of the stores.
“We are running about four weeks behind, so we have to hustle,” McBee said while watching the decorating action 20 feet above his head. “It is a lot of work, but it is all worth it. The kids love it and families come take their family pictures here each year. It is real special to see.”
Decorations are stored in a warehouse and each string of lights and every figurine right down to the last snowman and reindeer is tested before being displayed. Then, the night after Halloween, the switch is thrown. As Christmas draws nearer a train gives visitors a ride through the wonderland and candy and small toys are given away.
“Owners of other businesses ask me, ‘Whey the heck do you go through so much trouble every year,’” McBee ponders. “I’ll tell you what. If you see the look on these kids’ faces you’ll know why I do it.”
Another payoff, McBee said, is “thank you” notes and handmade holiday cards found on the business doors some mornings.