St. George family wins ABC’s ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’; official lighting event

ST. GEORGE – For three years now, the Kuhn home on Heritage Drive in St. George has been transformed into a brilliantly lit, holiday-themed castle featuring characters from Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb” cartoon series. The scene has become a local hit with people driving by the home to see it in its lit-up glory. On Monday night, the Kuhn’s home was featured on ABC’s weekly “The Great Christmas Light Fight” program and won $50,000.

Frank and Kim Kuhn standing standing by the trophy their “Christmas Spectacular” won on ABC's “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Frank and Kim Kuhn standing standing by the trophy their “Christmas Spectacular” won on ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

A crowd gathered outside the Kuhn’s home Monday evening where the show was watched via projector. Multiple homes were shown in addition to the Kuhns’ and each vied to win the weekly prize of a trophy and cash.

“We won the cash prize on the trophy,” Kim Kuhn said. “He was more exited about the trophy,” she added, pointing to her husband, Frank Kuhn, as they stood on either side of the trophy which sat on a pedestal in the front yard.

Though the crowd began to disperse when the show ended, others from across the community drove into the neighborhood to see the home. Those who parked and got out to experience the castle firsthand made comparisons to Disneyland. One man who was from California said it made him homesick.

At the time, the home wasn’t lit up in its full glory, as the official lighting is slated for Tuesday at 7 p.m. When everything is running, the light display features synchronized music, fog, water features and lasers.

While not in full brilliance, the sight of the castle alone was still enough to leave people in awe of what they encountered.

The “Kuhns' Christmas Spectacular” was featured on season premiere of ABC's “The Great Christmas Light Fight” and won weekly prize of $50,000, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
The “Kuhns’ Christmas Spectacular” was featured on season premiere of ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” and won weekly prize of $50,000, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The Kuhns have been decorating their home with “Phineas and Ferb” characters for six years now.

“We’re known as the ‘Phineas and Ferb’ house,” Frank Kuhn said.

The castle didn’t come along until three years ago. When the Kuhns started to build the castle, people who grew accustomed to seeing the “Phineas and Ferb” characters started to complain because their didn’t see them set up yet, so they were included accordingly.

“The public speaks,” Kim Kuhn said laughing.

An estimated 500,000 lights make up the holiday display, Frank Kuhn said.

ABC officials noticed the Kuhns’ home last year after seeing it on a YouTube video someone had uploaded that featured the home. The Kuhns were subsequently contacted and were able to qualify to be contestants for “The Great Christmas Light Fight” this year.

However, they were only given 25 days to put everything together. It usually takes the Kuhns and those who help them about 90 days to two months to build the holiday display. Nevertheless, thanks to the help of family, friends, and the Bikers Against Child Abuse, they got everything done within the time limit.

“It if wasn’t for our brothers and sisters in BACA, our friends and our family here helping us with the castle, there is no way we’d be done int time for the show,” Kim Kuhn said.

The “Kuhns' Christmas Spectacular” was featured on season premiere of ABC's “The Great Christmas Light Fight” and won weekly prize of $50,000, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
The “Kuhns’ Christmas Spectacular” was featured on season premiere of ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight” and won weekly prize of $50,000, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

BACA has helped the Kuhns with their Christmas lighting endeavors for four years now. The resulting light show has also played host to an annual fundraiser for BACA, with donated funds going to cover the cost of therapeutic needs of abused children.

The 2015 fundraiser will in held Dec. 19 from 6-10 p.m. Hot dogs and hot chocolate will be served and Santa Claus will also be on hand. Monetary donations are requested but not required to come and enjoy the light show, Kim Kuhn said.

The lights are just as much for the community as anyone else, she said, adding that there have been times people have thanked them for their light display because it lifted their spirits.

“There are people that actually walk up to us with tears in their eyes and say, ‘Thank you so much for doing this because we don’t have a Christmas this year, and this is out Christmas,’” Kim Kuhn said. “That’s why we do this.”

The Kuhns’ “Phineas and Ferb” light display is located at 445 W. Heritage Drive in St. George.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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