The Greatest Michiana Light Fight: Holiday Light Show on Edison Road
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A local family is using their holiday light show to highlight the importance of giving back this December.
The Mayfield family has been hosting their holiday light show on Edison Road for the past five years. And for the past couple of years, they’ve partnered with the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.
“We’re having a little charity tour to help out for the Northern Indiana Food Bank,” said Gary Mayfield, co-creator of the Holiday Light Show on Edison Road.
Mayfield said he first laid out the idea to the food bank back in July. The associate director said she didn’t think anything of it, because it was so early in the year, but Mayfield persisted.
“We’re humbled and grateful, that somebody has really the Christmas spirit and really wants to help people in need,” said Marijo Martinec, associate director for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.
Mayfield and Martinec said they are accepting all types of donations – vegetables, fruit, spaghetti sauce, pasta, and even, money donations. Mayfield has a big red box, where visitors can leave those donations for the food bank to pick up the next day.
“We just try to help ease that a little bit with taking donations,” Mayfield said. “To help put some warm food on the table.”
The family’s light show kicked off early in December. For their second week, they entertained neighborhood guests with Grammy nominated singer Judy Pancoast.
Mayfield said Pancoast heard about what they were doing, with their light show and donation drive, and asked if she could help. She flew from New Hampshire to South Bend, according to Mayfield, to sing songs to a lawn full of neighbors, as they watched thousands of lights dance in the night.
“Everything you see out here in this display, other than the lights itself, was made by hand,” Mayfield said.
It was a process that started in October that involved all of the Mayfield’s, including his children, Tyler, 13, and Aaron, 12.
“Well, I helped hook all the lights,” Tyler Mayfield said.
However, Mayfield’s wife, Billi, said the light show and her husband’s obsession with Christmas light decorating is all her fault.
“I took him to his first light show, up in Niles,” she said.
She said, five years ago, it was the couple’s first Christmas together and that’s where it all started.
“It was Christmas Eve if I believe,” Gary Mayfield said. “And I just wanted to get home, I was so tired.”
But he was soon electrified by the lights. He said after they left the light show in Niles, he spent hours on the computer researching and trying to find out if he could do it himself.
“After that, it all became this,” Billi Mayfield said.
A Christmas tradition, for not only, the Mayfield family but also for families all over South Bend, like the McCann family, who comes every year.
“It’s something our family looks forward to every year,” John McCann said.
Every year, to come make family memories that last a lifetime.
“I don’t do this for money,” Gary Mayfield said. “I just do this to see the community and stuff come together and help support each other.”
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