The Ducharme family is pretty busy these days. Not only are they installing thousands of lights at just the correct location in the four acre patch of property that they decorate for Christmas each year, there is also the matter of preparing the Singing Trees.
“We store about 80% of the lights each year and put them up in new locations to keep the display new,”said Greg Ducharme early this week, “and tee Singing Trees are new for us this year. The lights are hooked in to a computer so they respond to the music that is played through the system. It really looks like the trees are singing when you see it in action.”
Ducharme is waiting for the final piece of equipment to come in from Kansas City to hook up four trees, and the singing trees will be the centrepiece of the display at Riverhill farms this Christmas season. The display will be complete and ready for the opening evening, which coincides with the Ompah-Plevna Santa Clause Parade.
Riverhill farms is located on Struthadam Road, which is off River Road. Riverr Road runs between Ardoch Road (near Ardoch) and 509 (at Ompah) in North Frontenac Township.
For the past four years, Ducharme’s past time of putting up Christmas lights, which started in 2008 with the birth of his grand-daughter, has been a public event that is a highlight of the Christmas season in the region.
“We kept adding to it and adding to it as each year progressed, more and more people were coming in the driveway. We tried opening it to the public for the first time four years ago and it has been very successful,” he said.
The lights are turned on each evening between November 25 and New Years, and the Ducharmes keep then lights on until 9pm on weeknights and 10pm on weekends.
For three Saturday evenings during that time (December 2, 9, and 16) between 5pm and 8pm there will be wagon rides, hot chocolate, coffee, donuts, and pancakes and sausage or bacon and home-made maple syrup available as well.
Bus trips for 30 passengers or more can be arranged by calling Greg at 613-282-3276. Please provide one week’s notice.
The entire enterprise is about sharing the Ducharme families’ passion for Christmas lights that bring joy to the cold, dark fall evenings.
“I’ve lived a pretty blessed life,” said Ducharme, “and this is my way to give back some joy and Christmas spirit.”
The Riverhill Christmas Lights Show is free to view. The only charge is for refreshments on the three special Saturday Nights. There is a jar available for donations to help cover costs.