Lights out: Koosmans' final holiday display raises $156,780
WILLMAR -- A steady stream of vehicles Sunday night drove to the Chad and Angie Koosman home near Willmar to watch the final "Celebrate the Light of the World" light and music display.
WILLMAR - A steady stream of vehicles Sunday night drove to the Chad and Angie Koosman home near Willmar to watch the final "Celebrate the Light of the World" light and music display.
This was the 10th - and final - year that the family hosted the event as a fundraiser for the Willmar Salvation Army.
Chad Koosman said $156,780 was raised this year by people dropping off money in the Red Kettles as they entered or left the display. It was just shy of their $164,000 goal.
He said a grand total of $810,000 was raised over the 10-year period.
On Monday, crews began to dismantle the massive display and roll up about 50 miles of cables, extension cords and strings of Christmas lights.
It took Koosman about 1,000 hours to set up the display this fall.
It will came down a lot faster - the work is expected to be done in several days - although extra care is being taken to properly label each component of the display so it may be easily set up next year by the new owners.
After announcing that this would be their last show, the Koosmans agreed to donate the entire display to Willmar Fests, which plans to put on the Christmas holiday show at a new location next year.
Willmar Fests is forming a special committee to start planning details for running the show, including finding a new location.
Robbins Island Park, Taunton Stadium or the MinnWest Technology Campus are among the potential sites being considered.
Besides donating the components of the display, Chad Koosman has also agreed to help coordinate the show during the early years while new volunteers are trained.
The Koosmans have their home up for sale and intend to move, which triggered the decision to end the display in their yard and launch an effort to find a community partner so that the show could go on without them.