Bismarck family lights it up on national stage

BISMARCK, N.D. - Greg Wilz and his sister Gigi began the competition of decorating their homes 11 years ago when they became neighbors. Now, the rivalry and the lights have garnered national attention.

It all started with a voicemail from a producer of “The Great Christmas Light Fight”.

Wilz was hesitant.

“We really don't do this for the TV, we do this for the community,” Wilz said.

But they kept calling, and eventually Greg and his family decided it was time to say yes. After a lot of paperwork, they got the final approval from the show and spent the next month with hundreds of volunteers putting up close to half a million lights on Greg and his sister Gigi's homes.

“We had about 37 days, and it was like every night people were at the houses doing something. Whether it was repairing because we had such a horrible winter last year, whether it was welding, creating new displays, getting things lined up, organizing it,” said Davina French.

They spent four days filming at the end of October, including 25 hours straight on the last day for the big reveal. But they say it was all worth it in the end.

“We walked off this thing saying, 'wow it was a lot of work.' It was long days, but what a positive experience to have had,” Greg said.

The episode featuring the "Lights on Chestnut" display will air on Monday, Dec. 11.