Paying it forward is always in style in every season and it's in the spirit of paying it forward at Christmas that we present our Light Up the Crossroads Lighted Display Winner, Mrs. Dawn Kabela- Heller of Victoria.

Dawn was inspired originally to create awesome Christmas light displays from her neighbor and she hopes her family's hard work, time and effort, inspires you as well.

We had some fantastic photos come in during this competition, and it brought so much joy to each of us to see the spirit of the holiday alive and well in so many different neighborhoods in the Crossroads. We hope you've kept up with the Light Up The Crossroads photo galleries to see the lights and how hard it was to pick just one!

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It was so cool to hear Dawn was inspired by a neighbor. Yep, you can even Pay It Forward with Christmas lighting inspiration!

You might know Dawn as the owner of Victoria Karate Academy! Here is the fun Q&A we hosted with Dawn to get the scoop on her lighted display.


She hopes you will be inspired too!

Q. When do you get started?
Dawn: Well the labor part we start the week of Thanksgiving, but I start planning in September. It's intense.
Q. Wow, September! So you sketch it out first?
Dawn: Yes, but I use Pixels and X Lights in the design process as well.
Q. We've never heard of either of those!
Dawn: They are great, and X Lights is free. You spend a lot of time programming lights otherwise and X Lights does it all for you.
Q. How many containers do you need for your lights?
Dawn: Oh, 30 at least.
Dawn: There are roughly 75,000 lights in this display! The containers are coordinated by bulb and color too.
Q. How long have you been investing in this? And your inspiration?
Dawn: We moved to Bell Tower's corner lot eight years ago and I wanted to make it exciting for the neighborhood. I was inspired by one of our neighbor's displays. They have moved since then, so I carry on the tradition. I absolutely love lights during the holidays. It brings me joy so I thought I'd bring joy too. It makes me happy to see the lights when I get home.
Q. This is EXACTLY what we hoped the Light Up the Crossroads campaign would do too!
Dawn: COVID thwarted our plans this year certainly, we struggled, but next year will be better; for sure! 

Dawn offers that her husband is a HUGE part of making the display possible and adds that her karate students love to perform. With the parades being canceled, she got creative and offered them the opportunity to perform in Bell Tower and invited the public to watch the performance on 12/12. It was a big success.

Photo Courtesy of Dawn K-H
Photo Courtesy of Dawn K-H


She asks that if you'd like her demo team to perform for you, just call her at Victoria Karate Academy,  361.676-0275.

Watch for next year's Lighted Christmas Display!

We bet she inspires even more of us to participate to win!

Speaking of winning...

Q. Now that you won the $500.00 Visa Gift Card from Sweetwater Energy, how are you going to spend it?
Dawn: On more lights of course! 

The winning Light Up the Crossroads display is located at 118 Ashford Drive in Bell Tower.

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