Christchurch Christmas Lightshow: Interactive display lights up Shands Rd

Carl Seaward has a vision. He wants to see people, young and old, experience the joy of Christmas.

At his Shands Rd home, the retired 60-year-old has built one of the biggest interactive Christmas displays of its type in Australasia. 

And every year tens of thousands of Cantabrians flock to his property in Prebbleton to revel in his creations.

Carl Seaward runs one of the biggest interactive Christmas displays of its type in Australasia....
Carl Seaward runs one of the biggest interactive Christmas displays of its type in Australasia. Photo: Star Media
He flicked the switch to open the Christmas wonderland on Saturday night.

"This is a lightshow, of which you are actually a part of, you are in the middle of it. That’s unique," Seaward said.

In spite of so many Christmas-related events being cancelled this year, Seaward is soldiering on.

"Gotta do it, gotta do it, no matter what happens. Okay, work in with the restrictions, but make it happen for everybody," he said.

"I love life, and I love the joy this experience actually brings to so many people."

On opening night, the light show attracted more than 800 people, despite the rain.

"Everyone was very enthusiastic and very excited, everyone we talked to were loving it."

Seaward’s partner Maureen passed away a year ago after a long battle with motor neurone disease.

Carl Seaward's partner Maureen passed away in November 2020. Photo: Facebook
Carl Seaward's partner Maureen passed away in November 2020. Photo: Facebook
He wants to continue her legacy and raise awareness for the untreatable disease.

"Maureen was by my side right from day one with this.

"We always used to tell people this whole thing started because 34 years ago she started collecting the Christmas Santa bears.

"And that’s how her collection outgrew the house."

The keen handyman said the show is different each year, as he can only display about 15 per cent of his collection.

"I’m good for another 10 years.

"By that stage I might be finding it a bit hard to be climbing up and down on the roofs but, as long as I can, I’m going to keep it going."

The entry fee of $10 for an adult and $5 a child goes towards the cost of funding the lights, which he spends about $55,000 on each year.

  • The light show is on every day, 8.30-11.30pm, wet or fine, to December 30, including Christmas Day.

- Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

 

 

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