A collector’s display

By on December 21, 2016

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For those who like to view outdoor Christmas lights, there is a big, bold display in Denver that is capturing the attention of many residents.

Terry Lesher has more Christmas lights and figurines on his property at 606 South Fourth St. in Denver than many housing developments have in total. Located at the intersection of South Fourth Street and Lancaster Avenue in Denver, adjacent to the Cocalico school complex, the intersection is traveled by hundreds of cars and buses daily.

Lesher bought his property about seven years ago and established a yearly tradition of filling his entire lawn with lighted Christmas items.

Each year, he has added more items to the display. Lesher’s daughter, Tara, said, “I don’t know how many items are in the yard this year. I haven’t begun to count them yet.”

Lesher begins set up in November, utilizing vacation days and family members over multiple three-day weekends to set up the large display.

A collector of Christmas display items, he attends public auctions throughout the year to look for new items for his display.

As the former volunteer concessions manager for the Ephrata Fair and a life-long resident of the Ephrata area, he knows many local people and spreads the word about his interest in acquiring outdoor Christmas decorations.

Where does he store all these items?

“These things all fit in my basement, but this is not my entire collection that’s out here in the yard,” he said. “I recently bought 13 inflatable items to be added to the display in the future.”

While this year’s season is relatively new, Lesher and his family are already making plans on how to enlarge and improve next year’s display.

In order to promote energy conservation and to reduce operating costs, many of the items have been converted to use LED lighting technology.

In the early years of the display, a donation bucket allowed visitors to make a contribution toward the purchase of new items and the cost of the electricity to operate the display. Beginning last year, the donation bucket proceeds were donated to a local charity.

This year, any donations of cash, non-perishable food items, new toys, gift cards for groceries, etc. can be placed in or beside the wishing well in front of the house. These donations will be given to the Real Life Community Services organization in Denver. This organization, which focuses on at-risk youth, will share the gifts with needy families in the Cocalico area.

Additional information and any updates can be found on their Facebook page “Christmas at the Lesher’s.”

Lesher said he attempts to illuminate the display Sunday through Thursday from 6-9 p.m. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the lighted hours are from 6-10 p.m. The display will be illuminated daily through New Years Eve.

And then, before the first dawn of the new year, he will begin to dismantle the display and begin to think even more about how it will look for Christmas in 2017.

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