Six times a year, one yard in Pacific becomes an outdoor gallery for holiday inflatable creatures, fictional and imaginary.
Last week, Dan McClain and friends unpacked and assembled a Halloween wonderland that will light up South Payne Street between Arbor Lane and Indian Pride Drive until Oct. 31.
A retired teacher, McClain has accumulated hundreds of inflatable, lighted statues designed around holiday themes.
Two weeks prior to St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, July Fourth, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, a group of former students and friends assemble in McClain’s garage to uncrate and set up the display.
Halloween, the first and by far the most elaborate of the holiday light shows, has grown to a total of 103 pieces, including 14 new this year and 15 that are animated.
There are ghosts, headless horsemen, winged dragons, spiders of unimaginable shapes and sizes, mice, dogs, open caskets and a smattering of jack-o’-lanterns.
In the daytime, large blobs of colored nylon are strewn systematically on the ground. But at dusk they rise, some to the height of 10 feet, wiggle, wave their arms and rise out of half-open coffins.
A crew of 14 volunteers set up this year’s Halloween display this past Saturday, Oct. 14.
McClain, who has no children, said he offers the outdoor holiday exhibits as his contribution to the community. He is never disappointed as cars line up at the curb along his street and groups of children trek among the lighted creatures.
Volunteers who come back each holiday to take part in this ritual are Tim, Ryan and Colt Richardson, Greg Rulon, Mitch Duncan, Luke Kinfall, Mache Meadows, Sam Brocato, Jerry Eversmeyer, Kurt Hermann, Tim White, Frank Rogan and Chris Molinet.
The Halloween exhibit will remain lighted each evening until the Saturday after Halloween when volunteers return to fold all the creatures, place them in their assigned plastic bin and store them in McClain’s garage.
For Pacific — SM