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Finding joy in popular Baird's Christmas Lights

There's a well-known saying: the best things in life are free. That happens to be the case for Baird's Christmas Lights, a popular display in Red Oak, Iowa. The family that organizes it estimates it's attracting double the people it normally would.
Posted at 9:56 AM, Dec 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 10:56:39-05

RED OAK, Ia. (KMTV) - Fifty-something years ago, Jack Baird started a display which has only gotten bigger.

"We just enlarge it all the time," Jack said. "We just have scene after scene after scene."

This all started with four sets of lights Jack's father-in-law bought from a sale.

"We wanted to put them up for the kids, so we put them up and the next thing I knew, they wanted more lights and they got more lights and more lights," Jack said.

They are lights that keep gaining popularity. Chris, Jack's son, is noticing a big increase in visitors.

"The crowds are extremely large this year," Chris said. "Last night was 5 hours, we're running from 5-10 every night 7 days a week."

The Baird family puts a lot of effort every year to making the display beautiful but in 2020, it was the little things that really mattered.

"We did a lot more detail this year, we had an earlier harvest so we had a little more time to work on it," Chris said.

In this display, there's something old and something new. Some of the dolls and ornaments featured are 50 years old.

By keeping these mementos, the Bairds hope tradition brings joy during these turbulent times.

"We'll get back to the world we all know hopefully someday. Hopefully this helped a little bit, get people further down that road to enjoy," Chris said.

Long after 2020 is done, the Bairds say this tradition will remain in the community for years to come.