The Great Christmas Light Fight – Heavyweights: Bentleyville, Cambria Christmas Market, Magical Winter Lights & ROBOLIGHTS

On December 9, 2019, the season 7 episode 3 of ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight aired to an audience of 3.82 million viewers. Four families showcased their incredible holiday displays in a bid for the $50,000 prize and the coveted Christmas Light trophy. Judge Taniya Nayak is now tasked to decide who will be walking away with $50,000 and the coveted trophy – tune into ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight to find out!

The Great Christmas Light Fight Displays on Season 7 Episode 3

The Great Christmas Light Fight Heavyweights
The Great Christmas Light Fight Heavyweights

The Bentley family appeared with “Bentleyville,” a 22-acre decorated city park featuring 5 million lights and more than 200 enormous wireframes. It also includes the tallest man-made mega tree in the country – standing at 128 ft tall – located in Duluth, Minnesota. The Winter family presented “Cambria Christmas Market,” which offers Germany-inspired whimsy with gift shops and food stalls spread across 25 acres and features larger-than-life ornaments as well as a replica of the Golden Gate bridge in Cambria, California. Meanwhile, the An Family brought “Magical Winter Lights” – their unique twist on traditional American Christmas featuring 6 million Chinese lanterns on 20 acres in Houston, Texas – a record number for the show. Lastly, Kenny Irwin presented his industrial Christmas land “Robolights” made out of robots built from recycled materials including a candy cane palace and a 10,000 watt robot sculpture situated in Palm Springs ,California.

The Bentleyville Christmas lights in Duluth, Minnesota on the Great Christmas Light Fight

Since 2001, the Bentleyville “Tour of Lights” has been a beloved Christmas tradition in Minnesota. It all started when Nathan Bentley began decorating his home in Esko for the holiday season, adding more and more lights each year. Soon, the “House with all of the lights in Esko” became a popular attraction, complete with a Santa Claus visit on weekends.

As the display grew, a friend dubbed it Bentleyville – a name that quickly caught on with visitors. In 2004, Nathan and his family moved to a larger home in Cloquet with a bigger property, and he took the opportunity to create an even grander light display, complete with a 45,000-light entrance castle and over 500 illuminated snowflakes. Nathan also added fire pits, a “Cookie House” offering free cookies and hot drinks, and a Popcorn building to hand out free popcorn to visitors.

However, the popularity of Bentleyville soon led to traffic congestion and parking issues, prompting Nathan to come up with a solution. He started busing visitors in from nearby fields and transporting them to the entrance of Bentleyville, eventually transporting over 72,000 people by school bus.

In 2008, then Duluth City Mayor Don Ness’s office invited Nathan to a meeting to discuss hosting Bentleyville Tour of Lights at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. Recognizing the opportunity, Nathan formed a nonprofit organization, selected a Board of Directors, and began planning for the move to a venue four times the size of his residence. Today, Bentleyville continues to be a cherished Christmas tradition for many, thanks to Nathan’s vision and passion for creating a magical holiday experience for all.

Bentleyville “Tour of Lights” moved to Bayfront Park in Duluth, Minnesota, in 2009, drawing support from area businesses and thousands of onlookers who enjoyed the millions of lights turning on. Today, the event takes place over two months, featuring new light displays, photo opportunities, and ways to captivate visitors. Attendance has grown each year, with over 330,000 people strolling through in 2017 alone. The event is now a year-round organization, with planning, fundraising, and repairs taking place to make it one of Minnesota’s largest events. Bentleyville also collects food and toys for the Salvation Army each night, supporting communities across Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 2020, Bentleyville was converted to a temporary drive-thru due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but returned to a walk-through in 2021 with the theme of “Together Again.”

The Cambria Christmas Market in Cambria, California on the Great Christmas Light Fight

The Cambria Christmas Market boasts over 2 million twinkling Christmas lights on the coast of Cambria, California, artisan vendors, visits from Santa, a fun train ride, cozy fire pits, live music, delicious food & drink, and much more. Scheduled to open on November 24, 2023, and remaining open until December 23, the Market experiences increased traffic on weekends, much like other popular attractions such as Six Flags, Disneyland, and Universal Studios in Hollywood. Visitors are advised to prepare for larger crowds and longer wait times during these peak periods. As Christmas approaches, attendance on both weekdays and weekends swells considerably.

The recommended time for spending at the Market is 2 to 3 hours, and visitors will need to cover a distance of approximately 1.25 miles on foot. Seating areas are located throughout the Market for guests to take a break and relax. All parking is off-site, with free shuttle buses available to transport visitors to and from the event. There are no designated parking or drop-off locations near the Market.

The Market has a longstanding tradition of supporting local communities in various ways. Generous donations were made to local nonprofits such as the Homeless Animal Rescue Team and the school district. The Market also partners with the Cal Poly events and engineering departments to create new interactive displays. A Special Needs night is organized in collaboration with Jack’s Helping Hand, providing families with disabilities an opportunity to enjoy the festive evening without being over-stimulated. The Market also provides a platform for local artisans and small businesses such as Linn’s, who participate in the Cambrian Christmas Market’s German Market. A Christmas decoration contest for local Cambria businesses is also hosted, generating much excitement among the community.

Visitors are encouraged to take a walk through the dazzling display of 2 million Christmas lights and enjoy the festive ambiance of the Market.

The Magical Winter Lights in Houston, Texas on the Great Christmas Light Fight

Experience a winter wonderland like no other at Magical Winter Lights, a 50-day festival that reimagines traditional holiday light shows with a multicultural twist. Located in Houston, Texas, this popular annual festival boasts over six million LED lights and larger-than-life displays that dazzle visitors of all ages.

Each area of the festival is themed, allowing visitors to explore different worlds such as Magical Wonderland, Landmarks of the World, Dinosaur Land, and Christmas Village. From towering Christmas trees to whimsical snowmen and even larger-than-life dinosaurs, the displays are sure to take your breath away.

But Magical Winter Lights offers more than just spectacular light displays. Visitors can also enjoy live performances, carnival rides, games, and a range of food and drink options. There are also interactive activities such as a walk-in snow globe, a giant coloring book, and a selfie station.

The festival typically runs from late November to early January at Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque, just outside of Houston. This family-friendly event is popular among locals and tourists alike, and is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.

Magical Winter Lights festival is held at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown. Over seven themed displays, featuring more than six million lights will be illuminating the night sky all holiday season long from mid-November to the first week of January, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

The RoboLights Christmas lights in Palm Springs, California of the Great Christmas Light Fight

Located in Palm Springs, California, Robolights is an extraordinary art installation and holiday light display that showcases the talent of artist Kenny Irwin Jr., who has been crafting the remarkable display since he was a child.

The intricately designed display is made up of thousands of sculptures and lights. Constructed from recycled materials including old toys, electronics and other objects, the sculptures are fashioned to resemble robotic, animal and other fanciful creations, varying in size from small to massive.

As visitors walk through the display, they are awestruck by the vibrant hues of LED lights that illuminate the intricate details of the sculptures. Traverse through the installation and enjoy interactive elements, such as the light tunnel and a small train ride.

In addition to the holiday light display, Robolights hosts various events and art shows throughout the year. Admission to the display during the holiday season is free, typically open to the public from late November to early January.

Despite being a beloved holiday tradition in Palm Springs, Robolights is a controversial installation that has faced challenges due to safety concerns and code violations. Consequently, the artist has had to make adjustments to comply with local regulations. Nevertheless, Robolights continues to amaze and entertain locals and tourists alike with its eccentric and impressive display of imaginative art.

The Great Christmas Light Fight Season 7 Episode 3 Host

Taniya Nayak

Taniya Nayak is a renowned interior designer and television personality who has made a name for herself in the home design industry. Taniya has been featured on several HGTV shows, including “Designed to Sell,” “House Hunters on Vacation,” and “Restaurant: Impossible.”

Aside from her TV appearances, Taniya is also recognized for her charitable work. She is involved in a number of philanthropic organizations and causes, including the Bentleyville Tour of Lights.

Bentleyville is an annual holiday light display and charity event in Duluth, Minnesota. Every year, visitors from all over travel to the scenic harbor town to experience the Christmas wonderland curated by founder Nathan Bentley. The elaborate showcase features gigantic Christmas trees, festive light displays, festive holiday music, and delicious treats such as hot cocoa and cookies.

Taniya became involved with Bentleyville in 2019 and has been a major participant ever since. She has been an advocate and a spokesperson for the charity event, using her extensive platform to encourage others to support the cause. Taniya has also lent her design expertise to the event, helping orchestrate and arrange the decorations and displays to make the experience even more magical for visitors.

Taniya has not only contributed her talents and celebrity status to Bentleyville but has also extended her philanthropic reach to other charities and organizations across the United States. Through her hard work and dedication, Taniya has become one of the most respected and successful interior designers in the field, inspiring people and communities everywhere to make the world a more beautiful and welcoming place.

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Melinda Parker
Melinda Parker
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