Cancer dims the lights

Wanda English Burnett

This year a familiar Christmas light display in Versailles that draws thousands will not be lit.
“I hate to quit it - but, I just can’t do it,” Joe Day told the Osgood Journal. Day is the owner and creator of the spectacular Christmas lights that have literally drawn guests from nearly every state and abroad to his home located near US 50 and US 421 (formerly known as the Wye).

This year Day is battling lung cancer and told the Osgood Journal he just couldn’t do it anymore.
He has handmade numerous little wooden houses that have animated, lighted figures, is famous for the flying lighted reindeer and sleigh carrying Santa Claus up to the chimney, and a giant bell that swings in the breeze, lights twinkling and much more.

Thousands of lights were strung from the roof top of the Day home, on the massive evergreens to every point on the property - all to say Merry Christmas to everyone.

“It does cost a little extra for electricity,” Day told the newspaper in a previous interview. But, it was his way of giving something to the community.

It took him months to get ready. Really, Day never quit working on the masterpiece that put Versailles on the Christmas map for more than 30 years. All year long he would think of new additions, or ways to make the old ones work better. He was like a little elf himself painting and repairing items damaged from the weather each year. And he was constantly thinking of new ideas.
Day says right now he’s not quite sure where his massive collection will end up - but, he hopes some group will take as much of an interest as he has and keep it going.

While the lights are dimmed at his place this year, Day encourages people to keep the Christmas spirit by giving to the American Cancer Society. A special day is being planned to honor Day’s service to the community on December 13. Watch for more details in the local newspapers.