Hayfield lights display beauty

Published 8:31 am Saturday, December 25, 2010

By Amanda Lillie


AUSTIN — When Calmer and Karen Severson started putting up Christmas lights on their house 12 years ago, they had no idea their lights would someday help the Hayfield Ambulance crew purchase a new ambulance.

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The Seversons live just outside of Hayfield, and their home boasts of over 130,000 Christmas lights. Although the couple began showcasing lights over a decade ago, they didn’t begin taking donations for the Hayfield Ambulance until three years ago.

“They needed a new ambulance and they approached us about if we wanted to put out a box for donations and help them purchase it,” Calmer said.

The idea made sense, since so many people would drive by to see the light display anyway.

“The first year we got somewhere around $8,000 and last year it was about $6,500,” he said. “This year the donations have been down, but it’s probably the economy, and of course the weather hasn’t been the best.”

“We still appreciate every dime and dollar we get,” Calmer added.

The Hayfield Ambulance crew, which is composed of volunteers, has already purchased the ambulance, but the Seversons still take donations to help with repayment and related expenses.

Calmer said the designer and layout engineer along the way has been his daughter, Theresa Severson.

“She’s the brains of it all,” he said. “She’s been behind it all the way.”

Since they began their light display, the intensity of it has grown. Three years ago, when the donations began pouring in, the Seversons have added a new touch to the display, synchronizing some of the lights with Christmas songs.

“When you drive through you can turn to a certain station and follow the music along with the light movements,” Calmer said.

There are currently four songs to which the lights are synchronized.

The lights can be found at 21366 740th St., about one mile south and 2.5 miles east of Hayfield. The display runs from Thanksgiving night until New Years Eve, weather permitting.

“It’s been working out really nice,” Calmer said. “It’s helped them quite a bit.”