Northern Colorado family’s holiday display shines on ABC show ‘Great Christmas Light Fight’
December 19, 2018
GREELEY — The Greeley Grizwalds glowed on national television Monday night during "The Great Christmas Light Fight," but ultimately fell short of the grand prize.
The Medhursts, the family behind the extravagant Christmas display that draws thousands of visitors to their 50th Avenue Court home every holiday season, was one of four contestants competing for the $50,000 grand prize and the trophy.
While the show's judges praised the local family's passion and enthusiasm, they lost to the Gilleys in Ballplay, Alabama, which filled their lawn with animatronics and dedicated the display to their late father.
Mike Medhurst, the Greeley Grizwalds patriarch and an engineer for the Greeley Fire Department, said though they didn't win, participating on the show was worth it for him and his family.
"I did it for them," Medhurst said. "It was a good experience, a job well-done."
"The Great Christmas Light Fight," now in its sixth season, sees a handful of families compete against each other every week for the best holiday display among them. Lifestyle expert Carter Oosterhouse and interior designer Taniya Nayak are the judges.
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In addition to the winners in Alabama, the Grizwalds also competed against displays in Phoenix, Arizona, and Temecula, California.
The episode taped last year. The Medhursts watched Monday's airing alongside a small group of family and friends inside their living room. It was the first time they had seen their competition, which they both admired and playfully jeered couches enjoying Christmas cookies.
The family knew they didn't win, but didn't know who the winner was.
Dozens of people who said they were DVRing the episode at home waited outside the display to hear if the local family won. When they found out they didn't, there was a resounding groan.
The Grizwalds were the first of the four families to be featured on the show. Footage showed the family getting the display ready. It cut to nighttime and showed the display's flickering lights synchronized to music that plays on a radio station.
Greeley firefighter Tim Gurule made a cameo in the episode. He rolled up in a firetruck to flip a switch and light up the display.
Oosterhouse, one of the judges, said during the episode he was "off-the-charts impressed" with the Greeley Grizwalds.
"It's synchronized amazingly welly and looks flawless," he said. He also complimented the lit-up tree farm in the backyard, which is always the responsibility of 20-year-old Bailey Medhurst.
"It feels nice to be praised for your hard work," he said. "It was cool to hear that from him."
Being on the show was the "cherry on top" for Tami Medhurst, the family matriarch.
"We do it for the joy we give to the community," she said. "This was an extension of that to the rest of the country."
A few weeks ago the Smiths, the competition from California, stopped by the display to see it for themselves while picking up their son from the University of Northern Colorado. The Smiths assumed the Grizwalds had won, Mike Medhusrt said.
Mike Medhurst said even though the Grizwalds didn't win, the show represented him, and the community he serves, very well.
"We were able to (show) Greeley in a positive light," he said. "It doesn't get that kind of recognition very often."