David Richards’ Holiday Light Display in Canberra, Australia Is Better Than Yours

There are holiday lights, and there are holiday lights and then there are Australian lawyer David Richards’ holiday lights. I’m just going to go right out and say it: This guy's holiday light display is better than yours — but for a very good reason. And that reason isn’t due to its being a record-breaking display (although that’s true, too). It’s because it’s for an awesome cause, the charity SIDS and Kids ACT. How’s that for holiday spirit?

This isn’t the first year Richards and his wife, Janean, have done the most impressive holiday decorating job the world has ever seen; this year, however, the Canberra-based family has won the Guinness World Record title for Largest Image Made of LED Lights. Located in Canberra’s Petrie Plaza, the display uses 1,012,840 LED lights to create a three dimensional image of three Christmas presents tied together. But that’s not all there is; it’s a whole light show, too, and if the video below is anything to go by, it’s absolutely stunning. If all the strings of lights were laid out end to end, they would stretch for a whopping 75 miles.

According to the Herald Sun, the Richards family sadly lost a child in 2002. SIDS and Kids ACT, which is dedicated to eliminating sudden an unexpected deaths in young children and supports bereaved families, helped them get through the difficult time; since then, the Richards family has raised $200,000 for the organization. Said Richards, “We’ve done this because we want to help the organization that helped us after our tragic loss in 2002.” He continued, “Christmas lights really get people into the festive spirit. We decorated our home for years and people came from everywhere to see our lights. This year, who knows how many people will come along? We hope to provide ongoing support for the counselling and bereavement services provided by SIDS and Kids ACT.”

Why is the display in Petrie Plaza, as opposed to their house? In previous years, Richards has strung his lights up on his own property — but it usually comes with some added nuisances. Last year’s display of 502,165 bulbs, for example, created a huge amount of traffic around the neighborhood. Said Richards to News Corps Australia, “I promised my family and neighbors I wouldn’t do it again.” Fair enough. Putting together this year’s display was also a community effort — “We have architects, civil engineers, tradies, construction companies, sound engineers… all volunteering and donating goods and services, as well as wonderful sponsors including Canberra CBD Limited, Luton Properties, BLOC, and the Canberra Centre,” noted Richards — so it makes sense that it would be in a centrally-located spot for everyone to enjoy.

Watch the display get fired up for the first time in the video below and head over to Storify for more pictures; if you live in the area, be sure to stop by to see it anytime between now and New Years’ Day. To find out more about SIDS and Kids ACT, visit the organization’s website. Happy holidays!

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