Bob Woodward’s house has become a tourist attraction in Saltair.
People drive slowly past his residence at 10675 Chemainus Rd., just past Southin Road, to admire his amazing Christmas light display and blow-up holiday figures. Some will even just pull over and sit along the roadside for a while to enjoy the sights a little longer.
Woodward has gotten used to the attention in his 30 years of living there, which has seen his displays and decorations multiply.
“Every year, it gets bigger,” he said.
“When I was a lot younger, the reindeer and sleigh were up on the roof. You get to the point where you can’t do it anymore.”
Neighbour Terry Wright, across the street from him, also has an impressive array of lights, creating a one-two punch as motorists drive either toward Saltair or Chemainus.
It’s long been Woodward’s passion to make the yuletide just a little brighter for everyone.
“I love Christmas,” he said, stating the obvious.
“My dad when I was a kid, he loved Christmas. He made out of plywood a Santa Claus and reindeer. I got the bug from him.”
The assembly line for Woodward begins before Halloween.
His daughter from Nanaimo, sons from Duncan and Shawnigan Lake and their families all get together with him to put up the lights and the decorations.
“I start a month before Ladysmith light-up, the last week in October,” he noted.
“This year was good. The weather was fairly decent. Some years, I had to do it all in the rain. That made it miserable.”
Woodward scouts out area thrift shops and flea markets, looking for more lights and other blow-up additions to the growing fleet.
He even has to discard many sets of lights each year that quit working, but still manages to keep increasing his number of light sets.
The advent of LED lights, he said, was the turning point in that department. He has five dedicated circuits just for Christmas lights.
It’s only been about 10 years since he’s done the whole yard, concentrating just on the trailer before that.
People who haven’t seen his place need not panic. There’s lots of time because he leaves everything up until mid-January before the Christmas season gets turned off for a little more than nine months.