Holiday Lights: Selma couple goes above and beyond the norm

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

The home of Bo and Audrey Sutherland is hard to miss at Christmastime.

Polar bears are slope skiing, reindeers are grazing and Santa Claus is flying overhead in a spiffy helicopter. These rare and unusual scenes are part of the Selma couple’s extravagant outdoor Christmas light display.

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The Sutherlands, who reside at 207 Barker St. off Dallas Avenue, say the sky’s the limit in regards to Christmas decorating.

The sentiment is evident in the variety of light displays outside their home, which range from traditional Christmas wreaths to leaping frogs and palm trees.

“Everything is a theme,” Bo said as he looked over the front yard. “We got winter wonderland there, we got a tropical theme, we got a toyland theme…

“When you see a little kid hanging out the window just enthralled by all the lights, it makes it worthwhile.

It’s worthwhile to some adults too.”

Depending on the weather, Bo said it takes five to 10 days to set up the light displays and nearly one month to check at least 60,000 individual lights. The meticulous work is worth a child’s smile, the Sutherlands believe.

“This is for the children,” Audrey said.

For adults, the Sutherlands enjoy testing passersby’s knowledge to determine new additions.

“It’s a challenge to pick up what’s new,” Bo said, pointing to Santa’s fire engine truck and a pair of penguins and an igloo.

“We add something new each year. We look for things to match the pattern,” Audrey said.

Returning items to the Sutherland home include the Santa-piloted helicopter, which the couple purchased from a municipal holiday dcor manufacturer in north Alabama.

Bo proudly states the helicopter is “the only one in Selma.”

It seems as though the Sutherlands have pulled out all the stops in regards to Christmas lights, but they say there are more surprises in store.

“We’ve been doing this for six years and it’s gets bigger and bigger every year,” Bo said.

“I guess I’ll quit when I run out of room.”

“Or run out of power,” said Audrey.