Merry and bright

Published 8:02 pm Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Savedge’s light displays bring Christmas joy to Surry

By Brandy Centolanza

Contributing writer

Steven Savedge has loved Christmas and decorating for the season for as long as he can remember. He first started creating outdoor lighting displays in high school, though he’s always enjoyed the magic of the holidays.

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“I guess it all started when I was 2 years old and pulled the Christmas tree down on top of myself,” he said. “My mother said she frantically went to remove the tree off of me only to find me laying on my back giggling.  During my years in high school, I helped my godfather, Harold Jones of Surry, who to this day has a large light display.  As I helped him decorate each year, I began learning my way around how it all works and the electrical side of powering it all.”

All these years later, Savedge, who works for Smithfield Hog Production and continues to help out on the family farm in Surry, still gets a thrill out of decorating for Christmas. He’s been setting up a light display for the community since 2003 at his parents’ house. He started out with a few hundred lights as a teen and expands the display each year as the tradition continues.

“I enjoy looking forward to the end product once I am finished putting up the lights,” Savedge said.  

“I am always anxious to see how it will turn out.  What I enjoy most of all is seeing the smiles and happiness it brings to children and adults.”

Savedge typically begins setting up for the season in the middle of September with a goal of having the display ready for viewing around Thanksgiving. His most recent memorable Christmas was in 2016.

“My grandfather, who I was very close to, fell ill and died that October in the midst of me decorating,” Savedge said. “Every time I visited him in the hospital, he was asking me how the lights were coming along.  When he passed, I knew I had to go all out and dedicate the display to his memory.  That year, I pushed both meters to the limit and put out in excess of 100,000 lights.  This year, I added many new yard ornaments and changed up how I traditionally place some things to give it a little different look from past years.”

His display consists of 450 lighted blow molds, three dozen lighted deer, dozens of lighted trees and lighted frames and an oversized Nativity scene, along with countless other lights. In addition, “There are designated lighted walk paths and outdoor music playing the sounds of the season,” Savedge said. “I’m just a guy with a big heart who wants to spread some Christmas cheer.” 

Savedge’s display is located at 1474 Sexton Road in Elberon. The display runs nightly from 5:30 until 9, weather permitting, through Dec. 31. For more information, interested individuals can visit his Facebook page, Christmas at Savedge Manor, at