WSU News

Neighborhood alight with alum’s holiday show

 
Video by Matt Haugen, WSU News
 
RICHLAND, Wash. – The sights and sounds of the holiday season are tinged with crimson, thanks to one hard-working Washington State University alumnus. Over the last few years, Mark Showalter has transformed his Richland home into a festive holiday celebration – a 30-minute choreographed light show synced to music.
But it’s one section of the show, about 10 minutes in, that’s the highlight for Showalter: the WSU fight song.
“The Cougar Fight Song was one that just kind of came about because, last year, the Apple Cup was in Seattle and I had a bunch of friends over,” Showalter said. “It was half-time, we went out to unveil the show … and of course we had a few Husky friends over. We wanted them to be just as thrilled with the lights as everybody else – the Cougar fans.”
More than 42,000 LED lights are used in the display, and Showalter said his electricity bill isn’t that much different between November and December. The time he spends putting the display up is worth it, Showalter said, not just because his neighbors appreciate it, but because it’s something the entire community can enjoy.
“A lot of people will say thank you,” he said. “I say, ‘Hey, it’s really not work, it’s just play.’ It’s a great hobby to have and I always enjoy the looks on the children’s faces. It’s really a great part of this Christmas season.”
The show runs weeknights from 5-10 p.m. and on the weekends (Friday and Saturday) from 5 to 11 p.m. at the corner of Queensgate Drive and Alla Vista Street on the eastern side of Badger Mountain in Richland. Viewers can tune their radios to 89.5 FM to hear the show’s music, thanks to a low-power transmitter Showalter has created for the light show.
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Media Contact: Matt Haugen, WSU News, 509-335-0487, mhaugen@wsu.edu