Christmas display damaged by shotgun

The proprietors of a Christmas light display near Larkinburg have expressed their disappointment that someone would “shoot up” the display that has been providing area residents with holiday joy for more than a decade.

But they’re also expressing their resilience in repairing the damage and vowing to come back next Christmas with a “bigger and better” display — and their gratitude to the public for the support received in light of the damage.

Debbie and Roy Calhoun said their Christmas light display, comprising more than 50 wood-crafted and lighted displays that stretch for one-eighth of a mile, fell victim to an act of criminal vandalism sometime on Sunday, Dec. 28, two days after the display closed for the year.

A report from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said four 12-gauge shotgun rounds were fired at the displays. Damage was estimated at between $200 and $500, according to the report.

However, with the exception of a “vintage Santa” display, the damage was not so extensive that Debbie, a woodworker, could not repair it.

“Most of the major damage I’ve noticed so far was in some of the wiring. It was shredded,” she said. “But it’s not as serious as it could have been.”

Word of the shooting incident was posted on the Internet and met with an outpouring of support from fans of the Calhouns’ light display. Many offered to help with donations and asked what they could do to assist in repairs, and while Roy noted the offers were appreciated, they were taking care of it themselves.

“It’s a nice gesture, but it’s not necessary,” he said.

Debbie noted that only two of the displays that were damaged in the shooting were unrepairable, and lights and extension cords that were damaged are being salvaged or replaced.

“Everyone’s contribution to me would be to continue to come see the lights each year,” she said.

She added that this year’s turnout for the Christmas display was very good.

“I’d say we averaged 20 to 25 cars a night. I was really impressed,” said Debbie, who greeted visitors to the displays with candy canes and conversation.

Anyone having any information about the incident is encouraged to call the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office at 364-2251

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141

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