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Reynolds Christmas display lights up Indianapolis suburb

Kimmi Devaney for Progressive Dairyman Published on 13 November 2018
Christmas light display

Nestled in the northeast corner of Indianapolis is a Christmas light display like no other.

The Reynolds family has decorated the property of their Reynolds Farm Equipment John Deere dealership in Fishers, Indiana, since 1992 with an array of farm and traditional nativity scenes, all lit up in Christmas lights for visitors to drive through during the Christmas season.

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The free light display, which now includes nearly 150 individual displays and is visited by more than 3,000 vehicles per night during the busiest days leading up to Christmas, started when A.W. “Mac” Reynolds Jr. and his wife, Arline, decorated one of the tractors with Christmas lights in 1992.

The next year, they adorned riding lawnmowers to look like reindeer, and it has grown exponentially ever since. In the third year, employees suggested creating a huge Christmas light display for the community, Reynolds family member Mike Lawson says.

“Christmas is huge for our family, and the display is a great way to continue honoring our grandparents and to bring joy to the community,” Lawson says.

The display originally included actual combines and other farm equipment decked out with lights. However, when farmers purchased the equipment, it changed the display. Now, the display features light portrayals of some John Deere favorites ranging from a round baler to a grain truck and yes, a combine.

Christmas lights farm equipment

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The family helps to decide on potential new lighted display ideas, and the overall display continues to grow each year.

Visitor favorites include a 57-foot-tall Abominable Snowman, Noah’s ark and a 60-foot cross, he says.

In the last 30 years, the population of the Indianapolis suburb increased rapidly. Between 1992 and 2017, the population grew from 13,720 to more than 76,000 residents.

“As far as changes to the lights display as the area transitioned from rural to suburban, we continue with the same traditions and displays we have each year,” Lawson says. “A few years ago, we changed the layout of the displays and drive-through to help better accommodate the increased traffic and create better traffic flow both in and out of the display.”

abominable snowman

Due to the addition of the new Harley Davidson dealership next door, the display has moved from the previous location on the property along State Road 37 to the back parking lot, which is farther off the main highway and less visible from the road.

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The change has encouraged more people to drive through the display instead of just admiring the lights from State Road 37, Lawson says.

One of the most popular individual displays, a 60-foot cross, sits behind the John Deere dealership itself and is very visible from I-69. Many people ask about the cross, Lawson says.

“The cross is very large and, even when we moved it behind the building, it’s hard to miss it,” he says. “It symbolizes the season, and people love it.”

In addition to providing holiday enjoyment for families from across the region, this Christmas season destination is also a fundraiser for a local food bank. Eight years ago, the Reynolds family began partnering with the Come to Me Food Pantry at Fishers United Methodist Church, which is the largest food bank in Hamilton County.

During the 2017 holiday season, visitors to the display donated $34,000 in cash and 1,300 pounds of canned goods to help people within Hamilton County and surrounding areas. Volunteers from the food pantry are on hand several evenings throughout the duration of the season to greet visitors and collect donations, and the free-will monetary donation collectively was the second best since the beginning of the partnership.

slideshow preview

See more of the light display in this slideshow, or click the image above.

“We at the Come to Me Food Pantry are very blessed to be supported by the donations received at the Christmas lights display,” says Don Greenlee with the food pantry. “The generous donations from visitors to the display enable us to purchase meat to distribute to our clients and impact more than 2,500 families annually.”

The display opens for the 2018 season on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (Nov. 20, 2018) and runs through New Year’s Day between 5 and 9 p.m. daily. It is located on Indiana 37 off of I-69 northeast of Indianapolis at 12501 Reynolds Drive, Fishers, Indiana. To learn more about the display and stay up-to-date on the 2018 season, visit their Facebook page (Reynolds Farm Equipment John Deere free Christmaws lights display).

“We always light up the display the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to allow for those who may only make it home to Indiana for Thanksgiving ample opportunity to enjoy the lights display,” Lawson says.  end mark

PHOTO 1: While the display offers something for everyone, the focus is on Jesus’ birth – the reason for the season.

PHOTO 2: The Reynolds Farm Equipment light display includes nearly 150 individual displays and is visited by more than 3,000 vehicles per night during the busiest days leading up to Christmas. Photos by Kimmi Devaney.

PHOTO 3: A visitor favorite is this 57-foot-tall Abominable Snowman, placing a star on top of the Christmas tree.

Kimmi Devaney is a freelance writer and director of marketing and community relations for the Dairy Farmers of Washington.

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