‘Give us a honk as you drive by’
MILTON, Del. — Many families pride themselves on their unique Christmas decorations. Some feature live animals in a Nativity display. Others project giant snowflakes over their entire home. Some place candles of hope in every window.
But nobody does Christmas lights quite like James and Tammy Carpenter of Milton, James’ sister Kay Dukes and their families.
Their holiday lighting display features 4,000 feet of holiday lights outlining their farm equipment. It was designed and built by members of the fourth-generation farm family.
“We wanted to bring the joy of Christ to our community in the midst of the challenges our country is facing,” Tammy said.
The display, complete with a Nativity, shows the advancements in agriculture from horse-drawn implements to GPS-guided tractors and combines that drive themselves.
The lighted implements include a 1953 Ford Jubilee tractor, a 1960 Minneapolis-Moline MS and a 1979 White 2-155 tractor.
More than 4,000 lights and 100 hours of effort went into lighting up their modern equipment: two John Deere tractors, a 9250 Case Combine, an Oxbo pea and lima bean harvester, a dump cart and a 1,200-bushel grain cart. The impressive display brings a child’s farm toys to life.
When James Carpenter was a boy, he requested a new farm set every Christmas. In 1950, those childhood toys came to life when James and his parents sold their home in Milton and purchased a 235-acre farm outside of town.
In 70 years, the Carpenter family farm has grown to more than 5,000 acres where they grow sweet corn, soybeans, peas, lima beans and other products. Some of their land has been placed in the state’s farmland preservation program.
The Carpenters say they “hope these lights inspire others to dream big, or to be a part of making someone else’s dream come true.”
They say their farm “is proof that with faith, family and a lot of hard work, Christmas farm sets can still come to life.”
The family was honored in January this year by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware with an annual service award. They also have been honored as a Delaware Farm Bureau’s Farm Family of the Year.
The lights will be on from 5 p.m. until midnight through Jan. 3 on Carpenter Road in Milton.
“Give us a honk as you drive by,” Tammy Carpenter added. “And remember to give this same equipment consideration when it’s traveling down the road this summer.”
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P.O. Box 2026 Easton, MD 21601-8925