Cathedral City, CA - The Simmons family from Cathedral City put their over-the-top lights display in competition with others from around the country. The family made an appearance on national television on ABC's "The Great Christmas Light Fight." Though the family did not win the title and the $50,000 prize, they said it was well worth the experience.
Every holiday season, for the last six years, one house makes people stop and stare. Two-hundred thousand twinkling lights, eight miles of cable, and a 24-foot electric Christmas tree make up the Simmons' light display in Cathedral City. The colors change and dance to Christmas classics, a show which draws cars full of families that line the street, then leaves them in awe. "They have really done a beautiful job," said Mary Ann King, who was visiting from Canada. "And it's overwhelming, I've never seen anything like this, ever."
The display helps to get people in the holiday spirit and the spirit of giving. The Simmons encourage visitors to donate to Find Food Bank while watching. The generosity paired with the festivities have helped build quite the reputation. "We've already had people from Canada and Alaska and China," said Mike Simmons, the homeowner. "This year already come out and say, we heard about you on the internet."
Now, they can say they saw them on national television. The Simmons are one of 20 families across the country picked for ABC's "The Great Christmas Light Fight." They held a viewing party to watch the competition. At the end of the episode, another family won the light fight and the $50,000. Despite the result Simmons says spreading a little bit of holiday cheer is worth much more than the prize. "We don't do this to win money or for competition," said Simmons. "We do this for the community, we do it for the Coachella Valley and all of the citizens and our charity Find Food Bank.
The Simmons will be hosting their annual Santa Claus Event this Saturday from 6-8 PM at 68000 Estio Road. There will be free hot chocolate and snacks.