Daily Dakotan – Al Chmielewski 12/20/12

Al Chmielewski began stringing lights on his Kennedy Avenue home in the mid-2000s. “Every year, it kept growing,” he says. “There never were enough lights.”

Today, he says his display is more impressive than that of the Griswold’s, making reference to the fictional family whose excessive Christmas lights shut down power throughout Chicago in 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

Chmielewski’s display, which draws lines of cars each December to this otherwise quiet street, includes an animated Ferris wheel, abominable snowmen, a tunnel of lights, Santa Clauses, traditional snowmen, and countless LEDs.

“Every community has a guy who takes Christmas too far,” says Daily Dakotan producer Matt Fern. “We asked Al to be one of our Daily Dakotans because, in Bismarck, he’s that guy. And we love him for it.”

The Daily Dakotan, now in its second season, profiles interesting and inspiring people from throughout North Dakota in three- to five-minute vignettes, with a new video posted each day.

A Facebook page and Twitter feed are available for anybody who wants to be notified when new episodes become available at facebook/dailydakotan and @dailydakotan.

To find the Chmielewski family Facebook page, search on Chmielewskis Christmas Corner.