By Al Stilley
Kenny Linzie knows how a massive Christmas display began on the family farm but can’t be sure of when it began.
The farmland near the heart of Greenwood has been in the family since his dad, Herman, moved there in 1948.
“My wife (Cathy) set two tall plastic candles on the front porch and we kept adding to it,” Linzie recalled. “I have completely forgotten exactly when this all got so big.”
The two candles are visible on the front porch – a tradition but not quite part of the “wow” factor of the hundreds of lighted Christmas decorations in their yard and of neighbor Barry Inabnitt.
Linzie knows that for years they shied away from any publicity or notoriety. Year after year, the annual Christmas display kept attracting more and more motorists who would bring families and kids to the key-shaped drive at the end of Middle Street in Greenwood.
Longtime Greenwood residents contend the displays have been an annual event for five decades.
“We’ve always tried to keep it quiet,” Linzie said. “But with all the online stuff out there like Facebook and Twitter, this has spread across the internet. I know that someone had a drone over the properties and took photos of the entire display and put it up on the internet.”
This month, the lights came on a bit later than usual due to and farming season that stretched deep into November. He did not have enough time to bring out many of the hundreds of unique wooden cutouts to be displayed. However, the traditional wooden stand-ups depict Kenny, Linzie and daughter Amy at the entrance with another sign proclaiming the display as the Linzies and Inabnitts.
With help from nephew Don “Newt” Repp of Franklin, the lights came on just a few nights ago that turned each side of the driveway and the barns at the north end of the property into another Christmas sight to remember.
The Linzie farmland encompasses 190 acres, far less than the original 300-plus acres. Some of the land was sold where Northeast Elementary School and a small Greenwood Park are located.
Inabnitt’s land is on the west side of the drive. One afternoon last week, he noticed a mother and son in a car driving through to see the decorations and plastic characters in daylight.
“That’s why we do this; it’s so that kids can enjoy it,” Inabnitt said.
The driveway on the property is narrow, but there’s room for one lane of traffic each way.
The massive display is easy to find from East Main Street, just turn north onto Middle Street. After crossing Broadway Street, don’t let the “dead end” sign fool you – the Christmas lights are just ahead.