It's a sibling rivalry that started years ago, when Gigi Wilz challenged her brother to a light fight. But when construction on her new home was delayed, her brother decided to prove a point.
"What we did is we drug an old, frumpy looking Charlie Brown Christmas tree over, put a couple of bulbs on it, and plugged it in in their front yard. And that's all they had," says Greg Wilz.
"And the part he didn't tell you about is the sign he made that said, basically, 'You lose,'" says Gigi.
"So, obviously, we won," says Greg.
"It started that day. And we started talking about how it was going to be different the next year," says Gigi.
Lights on Chestnut is a holiday tradition for the Wilz family, and it's changed quite a bit over the last few years. What began as a friendly competition has grown into a Christmas light display that includes 220,000 lights, timed to seven different songs.
"I think we get smarter at what we're doing. And I'll be honest with you, it was Greg's idea to develop the computer switches and take a look at that, and I just kind of went along for the ride," says Gigi.
"I really wanted not to tell them about these computer controllers. But, in the end, I thought, 'Gosh, if we're both doing this stuff we can still compete.' So, we both, at the same year, bought the computer controllers to start controlling the lights. And we started small, and we would just grow it each and every year," says Greg.
Gigi and Greg plan year round, but the big push begins in July. And each year, both brother and sister come up with a 'Big Dog' to keep the competition going.
But, both Greg and Gigi say it's all about getting into the holiday spirit.
"I think you come out and look at the lights, because it's not necessarily about these lights, but it's to put you in the spirit to remember all those incredible Christmases, all those incredible family events, perhaps people you've lost along the way. It takes you there to that place. And that's an incredible memory," says Gigi.
"It costs somewhere between $200-250 to pull this off for the months of November and December, which is a small price to pay for the number of smiles we buy," says Greg.
Gigi says they hand out about 15,000 candy canes to visitors every year.
The show starts at 5:30 every night and runs until 10:30 on weeknights and 11 on weekends.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:57 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:57:59 GMT
The Class B Boys season wrapped up the state tournament tonight in Grand Forks. Fargo Oak Groves defeated Rugby 68 to 58 in overtime fashion. North Star defeated the Lions from Linton-HMB 60 to 49 in the
The Class B Boys season wrapped up the state tournament tonight in Grand Forks.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:54 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:54:06 GMT
The Century Patriots took home 1st place overall in the Swim and Dive State event finishing with 349 points. Followed by Minot with 323 points. North Fargo took home 3rd place overall at 297 points. West
The Century Patriots took home 1st place overall in the Swim and Dive State event finishing with 349 points.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:50 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:50:18 GMT
The West Region Class A boys and girls basketball season concluded play today, and the state qualifiers are set. On the girls side Bismarck High won the tournament with a 64 to 61 win over Century. Both
The West Region Class A boys and girls basketball season concluded play today, and the state qualifiers are set.
Sunday, March 9 2014 8:48 AM EDT2014-03-09 12:48:30 GMT
Chair-lifts were packed and tube runs were full, as hundreds of families enjoyed a day at the Bottineau Winter Park. But Saturday was no ordinary day in the Turtle Mountains. It's was the grand opening
Saturday was no ordinary day in the Turtle Mountains. It's was the grand opening of Annie's House, a new ski-lodge and adaptive center.
Evangelist Franklin Graham prayed on a sidewalk outside the Pentagon Thursday after his invitation to a prayer service inside was withdrawn because of comments that insulted people of other religions. More>>
NBC North Dakota News has launched a new channel -- Me-TV North Dakota! If you love the classics, Me-TV North Dakota has them.
NBC North Dakota News has launched a new channel -- Me-TV North Dakota! If you love the classics, Me-TV North Dakota has them. Me-TV North Dakota will also play a replay on the Evening and Night Report at 11:30pm Monday-Friday. As well as, local news and weather updates throughout the day.