Gatchell family lights up season of giving on Thursday night

The Gatchell house is an annual holiday delight for many Islanders. — File photo by Rob Gatchell

Lynn and Robert Gatchell of Oak Bluffs will hit the switch on their annual Christmas light display at 5:30 pm, Thursday, Nov. 22, at 148 County Road.

The Gatchells’ holiday extravaganza includes more than 20,000 lights, a flying reindeer, candy canes, talking Santas, a toy train, choir singers, penguins, a homemade igloo and a 40-year-old nativity set outside their home in Oak Bluffs. They add something new every year, so be on the lookout.

The display is meant to delight the community but also serves as the centerpiece of an annual food drive for the Island Food Pantry. While enjoying the lights, drivers-by are encouraged to drop off canned goods. Mr. Gatchell told The Times that last year was the best-ever for donations.

“We ended up with 1,400 pounds of food, which I know is an accurate figure because I weighed it on the scales at Bruno’s,” he said.