Marcia Hales announced last year that this season was going to be the last for her light display on Park Point. Even though she has decided to end the annual display, her lights will shine on at Glensheen Mansion.
Hales said she really hadn't thought about what she was going to do with the more than 300,000 lights, which she has displayed annually at her home at 3739 S. Lake Ave. for the past two decades.
"Even before I turned the lights on I had been contacted by many people wanting my lights," Hales said.
But Glensheen was probably the most elegant and similar in location.
"I was thrilled when they contacted me and said that they would like to have the displays moved to Glensheen," Hales said.
Glensheen director Dan Hartman said after Hales announced this winter would be her last year, many community members told him that Glensheen would be a great fit for her display. Hartman thought so too.
"So I reached out to Marcia myself and she said there were a lot of people and places who wanted her lights, but we were the natural place that fits the feel that she was going for with the Lake Superior connection and the kind of magical nature of the estate," Hartman said.
Hartman said for the past three years Glensheen has been considering doing an outdoor lighted display.
"Last Christmas we decided to do something really small and really quick, which was our Tacky Christmas display," Hartman said. "But honestly, that was never the vision that we were thinking of. It was more along the lines of Marcia's display."
The Tacky Christmas display was mostly a number of inflatable Christmas decorations scattered throughout the lake side of the Glensheen grounds. Hartman said there were some comments from visitors who said though they enjoyed it, they wished there was a more elegant display on the mansion side. Hartman said they might keep the Tacky Christmas, but just move it to a completely different part of the estate, most likely near the parking lot.
"Glensheen today is a mixture of that elegant, beautiful Glensheen, plus kind of this new quirky vibe," Hartman said. "I would like to think that those two, especially Marcia's, will continue to make Glensheen feel like a more welcoming place," which he said he thinks has been a problem in the past.
Hartman said because the Glensheen estate is a much larger area than Hales' property, they will have to spend serious resources to make sure Hales' display does not feel dwarfed on the site, and they hope to add in similar styles throughout more of the estate.
"It's just one of those rare events where both parties were thinking the same thing and it worked out," Hartman said. "I'm excited to see how this will continue to grow and how we keep that legacy alive."
Hales said this season was her busiest year and it was difficult to hear how many people have been affected by her display.
"A lot of people felt like there would be a big loss because it was a tradition for so many," she said. "So being able to carry it on just delights me, and to have it at such an elegant location as Glensheen, it couldn't be any better."