Holiday cheer is alive and well on the SouthCoast, and Fairhaven residents Marc and Rebecca Robillard are turning it up a notch with their Christmas Light Spectacular and Food Drive on December 17 and 18, with special appearances from Santa, the Grinch, and a few other surprises.

For the past 15 years, Marc Robillard has gone above and beyond with his light displays. When he was 27 years old, he already had 100,000 lights to his name. His passion for an illuminated holiday season started when he was 14, thanks to his mother.

“When I was 14, I was in the attic with my mother,” he said. “We found these beautiful lights and she said to me, ‘I would love for you to put these on the house.’ That conversation, as a young adolescent, that was the beginning.”

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Then, watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation sealed the deal.

Seeing what Clark Griswold could do with 25,000 lights inspired Robillard to go big each and every year.

Robillard doesn’t let anyone else set up this extravagant display, either. It’s all done by him, and as of Thursday, he has put in 522 hours of labor, stringing up roughly 200,000 lights.

For Robillard, it’s not about competition, it’s about the love of the season.

“I never enter myself into anything, to me, it’s not a competition,” he said. “I do it because I enjoy it. It’s a hobby of mine, and now, it makes other people happy.”

On Friday and Saturday, families are encouraged to walk through his display at 35 Gellette Road in Fairhaven from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. While families soak in the Christmas magic, they can enjoy hot chocolate, popcorn, and a visit from Santa and the Grinch.

Bring along a non-perishable food item, too, so the Robillards can make a hefty donation to the Mo Life Food Pantry in New Bedford.

The SouthCoast has its very own Clark Griswold, and he’s excited to illuminate Gellette Road for another year of Christmas magic.

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