“Christmas Forest” In Bath County Wins The WDBJ-TV “Light Up Your Hometown” Contest

Mitchelltown, VA – A display of Christmas lights in Bath County took first place in the WDBJ-TV “Light Up Your Hometown” contest. Jordan Ford, a sophomore at Bath County High School has been designing the Christmas lights display at his family’s home for five years.

“I do it mostly for the community,” says Ford. “It’s a good way to give back. And I think I’m good at lighting, so it’s the best thing I can do.”

The display, called Christmas Forest, covers over two acres and features five different themed areas and a half a million lights.

“Starting off as you walk down we have a country themed Christmas,” says Ford. “As you get down to the North Pole, we have a multi colored theme with lights and our 25 foot Christmas tree that dances to a musical score. Then you’ll head over to our Italian themed area where we have a gold and warm white colored palate with angels as far as the eye can see. You will walk down through the Polar Pathway in an ice themed world with penguins and snow galore.”

Ford got inspiration for the lights display from working as a technician with the Mountain Valley Players community theatre group. And he’s also been inspired by different theme parks across the country.

“The biggest challenge is the weather,” says Ford. “In the past we’ve had our snowstorms and this year it’s actually been warmer so the rain has been a big contributor. So, with half a million lights it’s hard to keep them on in the rain. And our breakers will trip, but we try our best to get it on for our community.”

Ford works a summer job in order to buy most of the lights. Each year he and his family add more lights to the display. And every January they start the planning process again.

“Actually last year we had an electrician come in,” says Ford. “And he rewired different breakers and they’ll be able to hold many more lights. And we’ll be adding much more for next year. I can’t release too many details, but it’s going to be much brighter.”

Christmas Forest won the “Light Up Your Hometown” contest sponsored by WDBJ – TV channel 7 in Roanoke, Virginia. Ford’s display received the most votes on the station’s website. Last Thursday, WDBJ did a live broadcast from Ford’s yard to show off the lights.

“I am very thankful for our community,” says Ford. “They really came out and supported me and our display. I’d like to thank The Homestead, The Inn at Gristmill Square, Bath County High School, our Facebook and Twitter fans and The Bath County Chamber of Commerce for their help getting our votes.”

Christmas Forest is located at 97 Grandview Road in Mitchelltown. It’s open every day through December 31. You can drive by Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9pm and walk thru Friday and Saturday 6 to 9pm.

For more information, you can visit the website celebratechristmasforest.com

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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