The Dart: Homemade trees light up street

Published 12:41 am Monday, December 14, 2009

NATCHEZ — Bingaman Lane: Street of Lights is what The Dart found when it landed on the Natchez street Saturday afternoon.

The residential street is all aglow with matching Christmas trees covered in white lights in nearly every yard.

Tanya Biglane, who lives on the street with her husband Denton, 17-year-old son Will and 15-year-old daughter Lara, was the first homeowner to display handmade structures and she said the idea caught on fast.

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“We decided to get a set for (Denton’s) grandmother and then everyone on the street wanted them,” Tanya said. “It is beautiful at night when they are all lit up.”

The trees are the handy work of Ed Killilea who spotted a roadside vender selling similar trees in south Louisiana.

Killilea came home from that trip and started assembling the structures for his own yard. The pyramid structures are assembled from four long pieces of rebar painted green and held together at top with bolts.

The rebar legs of the tree and a center stake are placed in the ground to form a pyramid. Then the trees are wrapped in lights. The trees come in sets of three — a 10-foot tree, 8-foot tree and 6-foot tall tree. The set includes one star for the top of the tallest tree.

Tanya spotted Killelea’s trees and knew she had to have some for herself.

“I bought two sets for our yard,” she said. “Wrapping the lights was a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is pretty simple.”

It takes seven strands of 150 lights to wrap the 10-foot tree. Biglane said since the decorations are for outdoor use, heavy duty lights worked best.

At the Biglane house the lighted tree display replaces a village of inflatable Christmas scenes.

“He really liked them, but I prefer this,” she said. “(The trees) flow better with the decorations in the rest of the house.

“I had them put up when he wasn’t here and he came home and said ‘I guess we won’t be putting up my inflatables.’”

Word of the tree display has spread around town and Tanya said it isn’t uncommon to see cars driving slowly and taking in the scene.

Word has even spread outside of Natchez.

“The mayor of Madison has said she wants 50 sets to decorate one of the parks there,” Tanya said.