HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Before the sun set in Highlands Ranch Sunday, a handful of cars lined up along Fairgate Way to wait. They were all waiting for the same thing: one home to light up the entire street with tens of thousands of Christmas lights.
Walt Hazard said Christmas has always been fun in his family, but the holiday was taken to a whole new level when his kids left for college around six or seven years ago.
“The kids moved out, and they went to college, and now I have more free time. And I can indulge myself in the craziness, in the madness, of how I wanted to decorate the house," Hazard said.
Lovingly called Gris-Walt by one of his children, Hazard said it took around a month to set up an estimated 100,000 lights.
“Every part of it is enjoyable. Seriously," Hazard said. “I like putting it up. I like taking it down. Doesn't make any sense.”
Then, the family got their own Christmas miracle.
“I told my wife I want to be on 'The Great Christmas Light Fight.' There's only one competitive light show on TV, and that's it. And we got a call two weeks later from the casting directors," Hazard said. “They came last year to film for this year... It was a dream, and it really was. They do such a good job on their Christmas lights. It's so much fun.”
The Hazard's episode aired on Denver7 on Sunday, December 3.
"Spoiler alert: we don't win, and it's a disappointment," Hazard said. "But I'm on 'The Great Christmas Light Fight.' People 20 years from now will go to look at our video, and say 'that guy is crazy. That family's fun.' My kids will still be mortified. But no, we didn't win and it's okay.”
Walt said the Christmas light display at their home has never been about winning, and instead aims to make everyone from neighbors to strangers smile.
“It's a gift to our neighborhood and to our friends and family. It's a gift to Denver. It really is," said Hazard. “We enjoy Christmas. We hope everybody else does too. It's a gift.”
The Hazard home address is 10221 Fairgate Way in Highlands Ranch.