‘Tis the holiday season to visit spectacular holiday light displays and enjoy a hot cocoa and cookies as you wander through festively decorated neighborhoods.
One of the top spots to visit in San Diego is 5306 Belardo Drive in Tierrasanta – the home of one of our employees.
For 14 years, Randy Schimka, principal clean transportation technical solutions advisor, has delighted legions of families with his elaborate holiday lights synchronized to music.
Schimka, a father of two sons with autism, puts on the light display each year with his older son. This labor of love helps raise money for the nonprofit Stein Education Center in Mission Valley, which serves children and adults with autism. Donations go toward supporting the center’s two-week long winter camp, as well as the purchase of educational toys and therapeutic items for kids at Stein. Last year, fans of Belardo Lights donated about $13,000. That included a $2,500 grant from SDG&E.
Santa, Mrs. Claus and Treats at Belardo Lights
Belardo Lights will be on 6-10 p.m. daily through Dec. 28. Santa will be there this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m.
Mrs. Claus will be making appearances next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 7 p.m. as well. There will be treats for the kids!
Labor of Love
The annual Christmas extravaganza was inspired by Randy’s first-born, Brandon, who became fascinated by holiday lights in 2005. The following year, Randy started his holiday light tradition.
It takes Randy and his older son, Brandon, now 23 years old, months to plan the light display and two weeks to put them up. Nine miles of wires are needed to power about 100,000 mostly-LED lights.
The display has grown bigger and more complex every year, with Brandon participating from start to finish. Brandon and Stephen (Randy’s younger son) were both diagnosed with autism at age 2.
As in years past, Randy’s colleagues at SDG&E helped with setting up the light display. As Randy likes to say, “We’re making lifetime memories for our family and yours…”
For more information about Belardo Lights, visit https://www.belardolights.com/.