Kim switches on Christmas lights after hitch

Thirroul Christmas lights fanatic Kim Oliver hit a small roadblock on the way to lighting up his annual spectacular this week - his wife turned on the iron and the whole circuit went down.

But Mr Oliver, 56, is not a man to let a small inconvenience like that dim his Christmas.

So yesterday he was busy getting a third phase of power installed at his Pass Avenue house so he could continue to expand his collection of lights - which includes a helicopter, train, dump truck, something that looks like a fire engine, and a "Harley-looking thing".

ENTER COMPETITION: Light Up Our Christmas 

There's a simple reason Mr Oliver, a stevedore, goes to the trouble and the expense each year.

"I just do it for the kids," he said.

"We can't really afford it but the kids love it."

He has not let the rising cost of power bring his annual show to an end - he has installed a photovoltaic system on his roof so he could save money on power in the daytime, making the night-time festivities easier to bear.

And soon he will also start dressing up as Santa to thrill the local children. With little lighting helpers in his son Heath and a mate John, Mr Oliver is just about set for this year's Christmas season, joining houses across the Illawarra in celebrating Christmas in a way the whole street can see.

Today the Illawarra Mercury launches its Light Up Our Christmas competition, where we will be showing off some of the best light displays of the festive season.

Entrants will go in the draw to win one of two prizes - a $200 Christmas hamper from Discount Euro Foods or a family pass to the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk.

To enter, go to our website www.illawarramercury.com.au.

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