Cincinnati man keeps father’s legacy alive through spirit of Christmas

Cincinnati man keeps father\'s legacy alive through spirit of Christmas and festive lights, Credit: WLWT
By WLWT Digital Staff

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    NORTH COLLEGE HILL, OH (WLWT) -- It’s a Christmas display that would make Clark Griswold blush.

Along Galbraith Road in North College Hill, homeowner Bill Zapf takes Christmas seriously. His home shines the brightest of all the homes in the neighborhood -- and maybe even in the city of Cincinnati.

For Zapf, Christmas starts around September each year. That’s when he typically begins decorating his home for the season.

The Christmas display was started by his father, Bill “Santa Z” Zapf, in 1970. Continuing Santa Z’s tradition is Zapf's way of keeping his father’s legacy alive.

“Dad started this back in 1970, and then dad passed away in 2008 from pancreatic cancer and he told me he wanted me to carry on. So it's a legacy. It's a tradition for the kids," Zapf said.

In 2020, the North College Hill home shines even brighter than it did in 1970. Zapf said he adds something new to his display each year.

“This is Christmas. I wouldn’t know what else to do,” he said. “It’s a family tradition. It’s brings back a lot of memories of dad and I.”

As you can imagine, keeping up with a light display this large results in a massive electric bill. Donations for the Keep Santa Z’s Lights On fund can be made at the North Side Bank and Trust.

Zapf’s home is located in the 2000 block of W. Galbraith Road.

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