Christmas lights are a time-honored tradition that illustrate the decadence of the holiday season and can often help brighten up otherwise dreary winter days. It may come as a shock to some Americans, then, to learn that an Australian holds the record for largest Christmas lights display.
Last November David Richards of Canberra, Australia reclaimed the world record for most lights on a residential property with a 502,165-light display of holiday cheer. Before that the record had been held by a 346,283-light display in LaGrangeville, New York.
This year Richards is set to improve upon his record. According to a Canberra Times report, he and a team of workers are currently setting up six and a half tons of LED lights in Canberra's Petrie Plaza. The display's construction has also taken 22 tons of steel and more than 68 miles of string lights.
Richards told the newspaper that the construction has been "challenging" and "much larger" than he originally anticipated. He also stated that he has had to quickly learn event management skills to coordinate the build.
The equipment and labor for building the project have all come from business donations. Massive cranes have been donated for use on the project and Richards stated that he has had electricians working daily on the project for weeks.
As in previous years, Richards' display will be used to raise money for SIDS and Kids, a charity dedicated to promoting research into sudden infant death syndrome. According to Guinness World Records, Richards' first record-breaking display in 2011 raised more than $78,000 for the charity. The charity told The Canberra Times that it will field around 250 volunteers to collect donations this year and that it expects to raise at least $200,000 from the display, which opens on November 28.
— SIDS and Kids ACT (@SIDSandKidsACT) November 11, 2014