A much-loved Christmas tradition in North Vancouver will cease to exist after this upcoming season.
Since 2010, Ethan Ribalkin – along with his siblings and parents– have decked out their family home both as a festive celebration of the Christmas season, as well as for charity.
But creating the festive display is no small task. In fact, Ribalkin told Daily Hive that the entire display takes two-and-a-half months to put together.
“There are basically five of us who put this display on,” said Ribalkin.
And after almost two decades of creating the annual attraction, “the family has become too burnt out taking on all this work on our own.”
Ribalkin explained that neither he, nor his three sisters live at the house anymore, leaving just his parents as empty nesters. As such, “they don’t really have a reason to keep this big house, so there is the potential factor that they may sell the house eventually.”
Those looking to see the festive display are encouraged to drop by on opening night (December 2) to really take in the full effect of the family’s labour.
“We highly recommend opening night, because it’s cool to see the lights turn on piece by piece and the street is often packed with a good atmosphere,” said Ribalkin.
The home itself is located at 4967 Chalet Place in North Vancouver, and the lights will be on nightly from 5:30 pm to 11 pm until January 6.
Proceeds from donations made by those who check out the display go towards three different charities: The BC Epilepsy Society, the Harvest Project, and Shriners Care for Kids. Ribalkin added that funds raised to-date for these charities totals $96,999.99.
“Our family definitely wants to thank the community for their support over the years,” said Ribalkin. ‘When we start setting up outside in October or November, and we’re outside in the rain for up to 14 hours trying to set this up, and it can be miserable at times.”
However, the labour of love is always worth it.
“When people drive by and tell us that it makes them happy and brings joy to their lives and we receive their support both with words and kindness in donations, it makes all the efforts worthwhile,” said Ribalkin.