Folks in Fayetteville know that around Christmas time, the best local holiday light display is created by the Stewart Family on Wyman Road on the east side of town.
Soon, the rest of the world is about to find out about the family, their enormous collection of holiday inflatables, and the crazy Christmas wonderland they create each year at 4423 E. Wyman Road.
The family is set to be featured on the ABC series The Great Christmas Light Fight at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4.
The Stewart Family display got its start in 2003 with just a few strings of lights and a single inflatable. Since then, well, you just have to see it for yourself to believe it.
“It’s a little bit hard to explain how it happened,” Carlin Stewart told us in an interview last year. “We moved here in 2003, and we were excited to decorate the house for Christmas. We had lights on the house and one inflatable. It was really a pretty small start. But we added more and more each year, and this is the result.”
Last season, the display featured more than 370,000 lights and an estimated 250 inflatable Christmas-themed displays, and there are even more this year.
In addition to the inflatables and lights, the Stewart Family display also includes a train ride, camel rides, and a popcorn, coffee, and hot cocoa stand on their roughly acre-and-a-half lot.
Old Santa himself is even known to show up at the house and hand out candy to children during the holiday season.
The family typically starts working on the display around August with help of the four children – Cody Stewart (17), Autumn Stewart (14), Conner McReynolds (15) and Gracee McReynolds (12) – along with friends and volunteers.
“We don’t really follow a grand plan,” Carlin Stewart said. “We try to vary the display each year, and we add to it each year. It’s kind of whatever we feel when we begin putting the decorations up.”
The Stewarts told us they regularly receive between 5,000 and 6,000 visitors on weekend nights, and between 1,000-1,500 on week nights. Parking is available in a field next door to the Stewart house for a $3 charitable donation.
For those who aren’t familiar, The Great Christmas Light Fight is a reality show that airs on ABC featuring some of the most, let’s call them “ambitious,” lighting displays around the country.
Participants featured in the show compete to win a $50,000 cash prize, and “the coveted Light Fight trophy.”
We’re told the episode featuring The Stewart Family was actually filmed back in the summer, and will air as part of the Season 5 premiere at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 4.
For more info about the show, check out the official website.
You can also follow along at the official Stewart Family Christmas Light Display Facebook page.