Wired wonderland no more

Couple's move to retirement home will end a 25-year ritual

December 10, 2006|By Tyrone Richardson | Tyrone Richardson,Sun reporter

The annual tradition at 6428 Deep Calm - where the Colby family illuminated their corner property in Owen Brown with thousands of Christmas lights and eye-catching decorations - has ceased.

"It's kind of an end to an era," said Butch Colby, 63. "It's sad, but eventually it had to come to an end."

Butch and Barbara Colby, who have been decking out their home each holiday season for 25 years, are preparing to put the property up for sale and move to a retirement community in Carroll County.

The Colbys started their Christmas lights display in 1980 with a modest few thousand. Since then, the number of bulbs and other decorations has grown each year. It capped off last year with 55,000 lights.

Colby said he recently gave a few of his religious decorations to a church, but he's not sure about the fate of the stockpile of bulbs and other decorations he stores at a Christmas tree farm in Lisbon.

"Perhaps I can put some of the stuff on eBay," Colby said last week jokingly. "I do have close to 100,000 lights."

Even though the lights are not up this season, that hasn't stopped motorists and children from flocking to the neighborhood, looking for the Christmas display.

"When I'm outside in the yard, they stop and ask where the lights are," said Colby, who has said he gets thousands of visitors each year.

Colby said he has not decided whether he will decorate his new single-family home in a 55-and-older community in Taneytown.

"When it was heard I was going to move out there, somebody suggested that I can maybe decorate that," he said. "Maybe next year. Maybe you will see them again."

tyrone.richardson@baltsun.com

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