Gatchell Christmas display to light up on Thanksgiving night

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It wouldn’t feel like the holidays on Martha’s Vineyard without the Christmas light extravaganza at the Gatchell residence lighting up County Road in Oak Bluffs, a beacon of goodwill that can probably be seen from space.

For the 18th consecutive year, Rob Gatchell has spent weeks preparing the festive display, which will light up on Thanksgiving night at 5 pm and continue through New Year’s Eve.

In addition to spreading holiday cheer and goodwill, the purpose of the display is to raise donations for the Island Food Pantry. “We only ask that people respect our display, come in and enjoy themselves, and, if possible, bring something for the Island Food Pantry,” Mr. Gatchell told The Times. “Even Jell-O is a good donation. Things like that hardly ever show up.”

This is the first year Mr. Gatchell counted the display pieces. “Not counting the 20,000-plus lights, we have just over 140 separate pieces to make the display,” he said.

Lights will be on from 5 pm to 8 pm, and extended hours begin the week before Christmas.