"Tripp Family Christmas" Lights Up Cochran For 28th Year

9:09 AM, Nov 29, 2012   |    comments
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The Tripp family of Yonkers has become known across Central Georgia for a spectacle of Christmas lights on its acre-and-a-half of land.

"It really puts you in the Christmas spirit," said Christie Lee, who made the trip with her husband and four kids to see the lights.

In its 28th year, the Tripp Family Christmas has been running strong on nothing but voluntary donations.

"The donations help add new items to the yard or replace items that have fallen in disarray," said Joey Tripp.

He's the only son of the family. When he was diagnosed with stage-4 bone cancer in 1995, his dad's annual Christmas decorating took on new meaning.

"It gave us that distraction, it gave us a sense of hope and it brought our family together in a time that was very chaotic and stressful," said Tripp.

At age 10, his prognosis was bleak-- he was given only 6 months to live. But he beat the odds, and each following year, the display grew as a symbol of hope and faith.

"It's transformed from helping us cope with stress and anxiety to becoming a family tradition," said Joey Tripp. "Not only a family tradition for us, but its become a community tradition."

However, the tradition may be drawing to a close. Tripp says putting up more than 100,000 lights over six weeks takes a team of Tripp family members and volunteers, and as the Tripp children leave home and start their own lives, Joey says it leaves a heavy burden on his father.

"So we were talking about going out with a bang on the 30th year and seeing if someone else would take on the role and pass the torch on to someone else," said Tripp.

The family hasn't made a decision. They say this year, they're simply enjoying the delighted audience of all ages that drives for miles to see their light show.

This year, the show will run alongside a living nativity scene by the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. The performance runs December 19 at 6 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.

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