GLASTONBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — One local police officer and his family are once again bringing holiday joy to everyone with their ever-growing holiday light display they put on right in their front yard.
Every year, Glastonbury Police Officer Ken Keeney and his family put on an elaborate Christmas light display called “Keeney Holiday Thrill on Chalker Hill.”
Kenney told News 8, the display consists of aerial and ground decorations. “I wanted to create a magical spot that people can come to and forget about any problems or worries, even if it is just for a moment.”
The display is turned on at 4:30 p.m. and turned off around 11 p.m. every night through Christmas.
On weekends they hold “special event nights” where people dress as different holiday characters for visitors. Past characters include Olaf from ‘Frozen’, Santa Clause, Frosty the Snowman, and elves.
“Olaf seems to be the most popular,” Keeney said. “I like to have fun with the characters and occasionally surprise people on non-planned nights. We have the ability to make any character available if someone has a request.”
He added that bringing holiday cheer to children, especially those with special needs, inspires him to keep putting on his long-running event.
“I strive to make this an incredible display for everyone. Children with special needs obviously have a special place in my heart. I find that they are positively impacted by the lights and characters. It inspires me to make them smile and give them a one-on-one experience in a magical environment…In some cases, parents have told me that the display helps calm and relieve stress for children with autism. If putting up this display can help one special needs child I will continue to do it for as long as I’m on this Earth.”
Keeney recounted that his father, a former Marine, died on Christmas Day when he was a child, so his event is also a way “to turn a tragic time into something positive” for himself and others who have experienced similar hardships.
There is a white bench at the entrance to the display that remains open for anyone who wants to sit and take in the holiday magic.
“I hope adults feel like kids again and kids think they are at the North Pole…I would also say, expect the unexpected when visiting…I have tried to create a viewing experience where each time you come you might see something different.”
And for more on the children’s book he and his family published called ‘Megan and Riley Share the Joy of Christmas’, click here.