Richland light display shows Cougar pride

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldDecember 16, 2012 

Most every component of the expansive light display outside of Mark Showalter's Richland home he designed and built himself.

He made the low arches of lights near the street out of PVC pipe and used inverted tomato plant cages to create short Christmas trees.

At night, the whole display -- made up of 42,000 LED lights -- flashes and dazzles in sync with 30 minutes of holiday music Showalter programmed himself.

But its when the lights dancing in tune with the Washington State University fight song 10 minutes into the show is the diehard Coug's favorite.

But you'd expect nothing less from the WSU alumnus who also named his yellow Lab "Butch" for the WSU mascot, and then taught the dog to go berserk at the mere mention of "Huskies" -- the cross-state rival.

This is the third year he has put up a light display at his home on the corner of Queensgate Drive and Alla Vista Street. He's spent an increasing amount of time designing and building the display.

"It's a great kind of creative outlet," Showalter told the Herald.

Last year was the first time Showalter incorporated the WSU fight song. He had friends over to watch the Apple Cup, the annual football game between WSU and the University of Washington.

Showalter said he and all his guests, some of them UW Husky fans, went outside during halftime to premiere the lights for the holiday season.

He opted to include it in this year's display as well, and he said a number of his neighbors have come by to thank him for it, even when he's out setting it up long before Christmas.

"It's funny because I start putting this up before Halloween," he said.

The display at 1300 Alla Vista is turned on between 5 and 10 p.m. weekdays and 5 and 11 p.m. weekends.

People coming to watch it can set a radio to 89.5 FM to listen to the music in sync with the display, thanks to a low-power transmitter Showalter has installed.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service