BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If you want to find a big Christmas lights display, Paincourtville is the town for you; and a front yard at 6151 Louisiana Highway 1.
The house of Ray Daigle has 2-million lights this year. Daigle happily told 9-News photographer James Degraauw that he had added special light strands to trees that look like shooting stars. "Everyone can make a wish on those". He said.
Daigle started creating the wire skeletons for lights that are motorized immediately after 9-11's terrorist attacks shocked America.
Daigle said, "It was my way of trying to bring back the happiness of Christmas time."
A red, white, and blue flag made of lights quietly blinks on and off. A two foot tall toy train on a track that runs in a circle lets cars drenched in lights rotate while the tracks clack like a real train.
Daigle made the yard where people could drive through an illuminated tunnel to access a road that would take them meandering through the displays.
9News found people from Thibodaux and Mississippi who drove in just to see this, because the display has been a yearly thing and people have found it.
Visitors are encouraged to drop a new toy in the Toys for Tots donation bin. That's the only admission charged!
Daigle some years back installed two spinning spotlights on top of his own house. Their streams of light spin in the night sky, so that anyone who even gets close to the display could actually follow the spotlights to get there.
Ray Daigle kind of disappeared for a moment and a Santa Claus wearing Ray's glasses reappeared. He rang a bell and greeted kids in the cars that drove by, "Ho, ho, how! Ya'll keep being good, ok? Santa loves you!"
People who were seeing the Paincourtville display told 9-News they loved the fact it was gathering toys for poor children and loved the fact that Ray continues to build the display every year. Children who are 14 now have seen these lights their entire lives; and living in Paincourtville, the lights have always been there.
It's a part of Christmas memories that they will keep forever. Ray will remember the happy faces of children...sweet memories for Christmas.