BY: SINEAD MULHERN
It’s like a scene straight out of Dr. Seuss’s Whoville.
A man named David Richards has created a Christmas light display so big it could rival Martha May Whovier’s. It’s also broken a Guinness World Record.
The official record broken is the largest LED image display. He used over a million lights to create a picture of three Christmas gifts in a 3,865 square metre space in Canberra, Australia.
His motivation was to draw visitors to raise money for SIDS and Kids Act— a charity that focuses on eliminating sudden deaths among children ages six and under. They do this through extensive research, education, advocacy and bereavement support services. And it is a charity that is dear to Richards’ heart. He began donating support to their services after a tragic loss for the family in 2002.
“We’ve done this because we want to help the organization that helped us after our tragic loss in 2002,” says Richards in an interview with Guinness Book of World Records. “Christmas lights really get people into the festive spirit. We decorated our home for years and people came from everywhere to see our lights.”
The whole thing really feels like the scene from How the Grinch Stole Christmas of Martha May Whovier pelting strings of twinkling lights to the edges her roof using her high-power light-shooting machine.
This isn’t the first time Richards has raised money to donate to SIDS and Kids Act. Over the years, he and his wife, Janean, (a government lawyer) have raised $200,000. Last year he also put on a display to raise funds for the charity. With just over five hundred thousand lights, it was significantly smaller than this year’s light show. (This year’s 3-D image also uses thousands of bulbs to illuminate the backdrop.) Many of the lights used in this year’s display were donated by local businesses.
As the holiday season kicks off, he’s hoping to get attention for his cause. If last year’s crowds can be any indication of the size of the festive-flock, gung-ho gawkers will come in droves. 2013 saw 75,000 over the season.