Massive Holiday Display Shines Brightly Above Salt Lake City

Dec 15, 2020, 10:20 PM | Updated: Dec 21, 2020, 7:37 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It began nearly three decades ago as a humble yard display of more than a dozen blow molds Christmas decorations.

Today, “Frosty’s Winter Wonderland” at 805 E. 18th Ave. boasts 330 in a collective glow of light that can be spotted from a long distance on the Salt Lake City hillside.

“We had no idea when we started this 28 years ago that it would be this big,” said homeowner Forrest Nunley.

The work typically begins around Oct. 1 to be ready in time for the holiday season.

“It takes me about 700 hours to get it all up and running,” Nunley acknowledged.

Collecting for the display takes place year-round, with Nunley adding about 20 new blow molds every Christmas season.

“The big goal is to find ones that I don’t have,” said Nunley, whose decorations date as far back as the 1950s.

The display has always been a popular attraction, but in the pandemic year, it has proven to be even more so.

Nunley said Frosty’s Winter Wonderland averages about 200 cars per night — more than double what it has seen in past years — and that doesn’t account for significant additional foot traffic.

"Frosty's Winter Wonderland" in SLC. (KSL-TV) "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" in SLC. (KSL-TV) "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" in SLC. (KSL-TV) "Frosty's Winter Wonderland" in SLC. (KSL-TV)

“After this year, we all need it for sure,” said Brenda Mason, who first saw the display on the recommendation of her daughter.

Sean Branigan expressed a similar sentiment as he brought his kids to the neighborhood Tuesday evening for a closer look.

“I think people are bored at home just looking for something else to do — any excuse to get out of the house,” Branigan said.

Nunley said being outside has motivated him to manage the display every year, and he understands why people would want to get out now.

Homeowner Forrest Nunley. (KSL-TV)

“Anything outside is much more enjoyable than inside,” he said. “People want something — somewhere to go, somewhere that’s safe, somewhere that’s fun.”

He said he was grateful to simply make people’s nights a little brighter.

“If there’s anything I can do to help people out, this is it,” Nunley said. “It brings a lot of happiness to people.”

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