• Tue. Oct 26th, 2021

Egg Harbor Township man builds his own Christmas decorations to light up holiday | Local News

The front yard has 20 spotlights and at least 10,000 lights on the decorations combined. Ehrhardt paints and adds lights to each piece himself. Most of the pieces, if not all, have been repainted and outfitted with new lights multiple times.

One of the largest pieces is a green wreath hanging from the porch that’s 8 feet in diameter and has about 1,000 lights on it.

By trade, Ehrhardt, 70, has done home renovations, worked in advertising, was a third grade teacher, and did lighting and animation for billboards. He also got into set building for community theater.

With so much turned upside down this year due to COVID-19, the holidays, unfortunately, will…

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The time to make each piece varies. One piece can take a few weeks or so if he works on it two to three hours a day. A lot of them are made out of plywood. Sometimes he draws out the designs, sometimes he dives right in.

“My drawing skills, believe it or not, are not all that good,” he said.

He doesn’t make new pieces each year. If he doesn’t, like this year, he refurbishes existing pieces. It’s hard for him to pinpoint a favorite piece, as he described all of them like his children.

“I didn’t make anything I didn’t like,” he said. “The artist in me says that if something didn’t come out, then I didn’t use it.”

The decorations come apart and are stored in the attic. It takes his son and his wife two days each to get everything down. It takes Ehrhardt another five days, eight hours a day, to assemble and put everything out on the lawn.