December 5, 2023

Food Bazaar

Get In My Food Bazaar

The deer on Wildlife Drive

MOUNT PLEASANT — You don’t usually expect to encounter anything too exotic when you drive down Wildlife Drive, but every holiday season you can see some deer, moose, an elephant and even maybe a penguin.

For those who celebrate Christmas, food is the main deal. Buzz60’s Keri Lumm shares the results of a new study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of St. Pierre.

Donald Nelson has been collecting a herd’s worth of light-up deer over the years, a collection of light up figures that currently sits at around 56. Every Christmas season, Donald and his wife, Lynn Nelson, spend a day-and-a-half assembling the light-up deer in front and on the side of their home on the 1400 block of Wildlife Drive in Mount Pleasant.

The collection doesn’t end with the deer. Donald and Lynn also have a mother and baby bear, moose, an owl in a tree and an elephant stepping on a ball. Some of the decorations are so elaborate that Donald said they use about 1000 lightbulbs.

You would even say they glow

Donald Nelson’s yard on Wildlife Drive in Mount Pleasant is surrounded by 55 different light-up decorations, mainly deer. Nelson has been collecting these decorations for about 25 years. His wife, Lynn, decorates each deer with a red ribbon.

Alex Rodriguez

The Nelsons’ collection started around 25 years ago and kept expanding. Some of the the decorations Donald buys, but others he has salvaged from the trash.

People are also reading…

“I took them back home and rewired them and got them all working, people through the years have given me some deer and I have bought some deer,” Donald said.

Donald welds anything that might need fixing on the deer, and reinforces them to be stronger. Lynn put a bow around each deer’s neck, which Donald said is “pretty neat” at night.

Up on the tree

A light-up owl sits perched on top of a tree in front of Donald Nelson’s lawn on Wildlife Drive in Mount Pleasant.

Alex Rodriguez

Donald said he adds a couple more each year. This year, three all-white deer were added to the lawn. Despite the number of decorations he has, Donald still manages to store all of them away during the off-season.

“You don’t see one of them until the Christmas season,” Donald said, “then they all come out.”

Donald, 77, is retired. He worked as the head electrician at InSinkErator for 30 years. He also served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War from 1966 to 1972, being in active combat between 1966 and 1968.

Many neighbors over the years have given him praise and comments about the deer.

Donald said that he finds, restores and maintains all the decorations he assembles every year, and he still does all the maintenance around his home.

Quite a collection

Donald Nelson’s collection of around 55 light-up decorations are on full display outside of his home on Wildlife Drive. Nelson has been collecting these decorations for 25 years. The animals featured range from deer, to bears, to moose. 

Alex Rodriguez

“Yeah, my electric bill definitely goes up,” Donald said, jokingly.