It’s not Christmas in Paincourtville, Louisiana without Ray Daigle’s epic light display.
Daigle has been decorating his home in the small Assumption Parish town for 15 years, drawing crowds for all over Louisiana to experience his glittering Christmas spectacular. By 2014, Daigle’s display included more than 2 million lights, a working ferris wheel, reindeer, and even a train. It was certainly a sight to behold.
But that all changed in February when an F-3 tornado ripped through the community and demolished the barn where Daigle stored his display. He salvaged what he could, but almost all of his gear was left a tangled mess.
"It’s a hard thing to think about, you know, when you come and you've built up something for 15 years and then within 15 seconds was taken away," his daughter Scottie Brister told WAFB-TV.
But Daigle’s neighbors were determined to keep the beloved tradition alive. This past weekend dozens of them came out to decorate six trees in front of his house with lights and ornaments. Although it’s nowhere near the scale it once was, it’s the thought that counts.
“It means a lot to me because the community cares,” Daigle told WAFB-TV. “This brought joy to Paincourtville, Louisiana, to Assumption Parish, and to our community.”
Daigle says that he plans to rebuild his collection of Christmas decorations, starting with the ones so generously given to him by his neighbors.
“That was awesome, to put a little touch of their heart on those trees. It means a lot," Daigle said.