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Oakdale Christmas display set to open for it's 46th year in St. Petersburg

Ted Kresge started with a few strings of lights, and almost half a century later, his Christmas extravaganza continues to draw crowds.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — At 82 years old, Ted Kresge is still hard at work.

"There's not anybody that I know of in the country at this age who does anything like this,” Kresge said.

His Christmas display, The Oakdale Christmas Spectacular, continues to bring the magic of the holiday season to St. Petersburg.

It all started 46 years ago with a couple of lights.

“Just like anybody, I just put up a few strings of lights. And then we put a few more up next year and a few more up the next year,” Kresge said.

For him, it’s a labor of love.

"It takes about eight people involved for three months to do this, but it just makes you feel good when you see so many people coming and enjoying the Christmas holidays," he said. 

The event has about 300,000 lights on hand ready to go. But their electric bill for December alone can range from $4,000 to $5,000.

"We have to have the power company come in and put in a maximum on our house, and then we have to have a saw pole put in. Then we have to have a second saw pole and we have three electric meters,” Kresge said. 

During the day, nativity scenes, reindeer and bubble machines stand ready for the crowds, but at night, the small property in south St. Pete really comes alive.

"The size of it is so large and the amount of lights are so large that they've never seen anything like it anywhere else,“ he said. 

Kresge said he hopes the lights will continue to shine for years to come, and he has no plans on stopping anytime soon. 

The Oakdale Christmas Spectacular officially opens to the public on Nov. 25 and will run through Jan. 3. It is also a free event.

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