Trevor Allen spent countless late nights carefully handcrafting every single element of his 36,000-light Christmas display.
He set it all up on Monday — only to watch in disbelief on Tuesday night as someone drove onto his corner lot at 5140 Genereux Dr. around 10 p.m. and destroyed part of it before taking off.
“I was just lost for words,” Allen told Global News on Wednesday morning as he surveyed the damage.
“I felt like I spent all this time, all these late nights — the last couple of nights before putting the show up I was out in the garage working until four in the morning trying to get everything ready — and then in a few seconds, it’s gone.”
Regina Police Service is investigating. The suspect vehicle is described as a black truck with a super-cab. It likely sustained front-end damage, police said in an email.
Inspired by Clark Griswold of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Allen developed his first LED-light decorations in 2017. He programmed the snowflakes he’d built to music and put them on display.
In 2018, he kicked it up a notch, adding nine star-topped trees, arches and a number of panels.
“I did it at first because I love the lights,” Allen said. “The response I got from the community and everybody loving the lights — we would have kids putting gift cards for Tim Hortons in the mailbox with handwritten Christmas cards and ornaments — it just made me want to do it more.”
There has been an outpouring of support on social media.
“We so enjoy seeing your lights! We always take the long way home just so we can drive past it. You give so much joy to our family,” Jennifer Fuessel commented on the Allen Family Lights page post about the incident.
“Thank you for your hard work. I’m so sorry this happened to you.”
Dyane Lewis wrote: “I’m so sorry to hear that this happened. My daughter and I just stopped last night and she was so excited when she saw it was back on again and that the radio station reached to our house! Your display is beautiful and I know our family really appreciates it. Thank you for your hard work. I’m so sorry this happened to you.”
Allen said he wants to rebuild the damaged parts of the display. It will be an arduous process. He began planning for this year’s display as last year’s was coming down.
To build this year’s new 2,000-light fence, partially in pieces Wednesday morning, he worked from 8 p.m until 2 a.m. every day for about six weeks.
“Every hole I have to drill manually and then I have to push each bulb into it,” Allen said.
Two of his small Christmas trees were lying flat on his lawn. His sign informing people the lights are synchronized to music on 98.1 FM was knocked over and smashed in.
Everything has go back to the way it was before, or he’ll have to reprogram it. Each 10 seconds of the show takes him approximately eight hours to input.
Allen has an 11-year-old daughter who helps him with the light show.
“She was quite upset and my wife was also quite upset about what had happened, just knowing the amount of time and effort I put into it,” he said.
“In the back of my mind I always had that fear that this could happen. I knew the risks. I just thought, ‘Hopefully, that won’t’ happen.'”
Allen aims to have his show back up and running by the end of the weekend.