Big Tucson holiday lights display raises money for local charities

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- The wintery weather Saturday gave everyone a good excuse to stay inside and delay your outdoor holiday decorating.

But one young Tucsonan has his display ready as he has for the last several years, hoping to draw plenty of eyes and donations for charity.

When something becomes a yearly tradition, it's hard to keep track of how long you've been doing it.

"This is roughly my seventh or eighth year," said holiday light display owner Zach Tarbet.

By the time Thanksgiving weekend rolls around every year Tucsonan Zach Tarbet is getting his northwest side christmas light display ready.

"We're right around 45,000 lights.  We use about 350 feet of PVC piping to help the display," said Tarbet.  "As you can see our arches made to look like candy canes. That's where a lot of our PVC piping is utilized."

And while there's plenty in the display to brag about, the part that makes Zach most proud is he's been able to use it to help others.

"It's when I noticed the Food Banks are struggling," said Tarbet.

Every year he collects donations.

"We have a bin out front," said Tarbet.

Helping out the Community Food Bank and this year, the Salvation Army.

"Last year we got about a thousand pounds of food and this year, I'm hoping to double that," Tarbet said.

New this year, a Salvation Army toy drive.  Zach's hoping to collect 125 toys to help children in need.

"Salvation Army is teamed up with the Christina Taylor Green Memorial Fund and we are accepting donations on their behalf," Tarbet said.

By his best estimation, its been 7 or 8 years of lighting up holiday cheer.  Some wonder how much longer Zach will keep it up.  He graduates from the U of A this month.

"For now the plan is to stay, and for now the plan is to continue this.  I don't see myself going anywhere," Tarbet said.  "I love the City of Tucson and I just love the community we have here."

And as long as Zach is stringing up lights, they're a bright spot on Tucson's northwest side every holiday season and with the community's help a bright spot for those in need.