High school senior Carter Schmidt has turned his family home in Colman into a Christmas light show for a cause.
“There’s lights on the roof, lights on the deck … There’s a few inflatables. For the most part it’s a lot of lights and a lot of extension cords,” the 17-year-old says.
This year, the third year decorating and putting the lights in motion to music, Schmidt has added a donation box with money going to the Moody County Bread Basket for food for those who need it. “We decided to keep it local and give back.”
The show, which is lit from about 5 to 10 p.m. weeknights and until midnight on weekends, will be on through Jan. 2, he says.
Schmidt, who wants to study broadcast journalism at South Dakota State University next fall, runs his own mobile DJ business, CS Entertainment, and doesn’t really know how many people are stopping by his house at 118 S. Allen Ave., because he’s rarely home. He also keeps busy with school activities, keeping stats and announcing games.
“I announce all of our athletic events. It gets pretty busy,” he says.
But he’s home enough to have memorized all of the songs in the show – there are 20 this year. The music is loud enough to hear inside the house. In checking with neighbors, they don’t hear it in their houses, though, he said.
“We have really laid-back neighbors. We could definitely hear it in our house for the whole month of December,” he said. “I could basically sing every single tune to you.”
Passersby also can hear it on their car radios at 95.5. That way, they don’t have to roll down their windows in the cold, he says.
Decorating the display and putting it together with a controller and FM transmitter is left up to Schmidt. His parents, Dan and Sandy Schmidt, bought the decorations. But others have donated items, too, and the display keeps building.
There’s a sleigh in the yard with four reindeer, a Santa, snowmen, a nativity, candy canes, a Merry Christmas sign and Santa waving in the home’s bay window. People can drive by the home near the school and be assured they won’t miss something.
“There’s really no start or end,” Schmidt says. “You can show up and listen to wherever it’s at.”