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Goodyear man honors friend who passed away with Christmas light display

Posted at 9:47 PM, Dec 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 00:42:36-05

With lights surrounding his Goodyear home, Bob Sanda admits it took a while to put together what he calls "Santa's Castle."

"It took me eight months to build it," Sanda said. "That's working three, four hours a day at least four days a week."

Each year, Sanda creates elaborate light displays, but this one is special. Santa's Castle is a recreation of a display his friend made in the 1980's. Sanda told ABC15 his friend, Bob Rix, was well known in the Valley for holiday light displays and passed away in 2015. According to Sanda, Santa's Castle was one of his friend's favorites.

"I was at his house talking to him one time and I knew what the display meant to him," Sanda said. "I asked him if he would mind if I did a new version, my version, of his castle display. He paused, he got a big smile and he said 'yes, I would love that.'"

The display, which Sanda says includes around 30,000 lights, also comes with a written message in the driveway to detail the meaning behind the display.

"There have been several people here...that actually have been standing across the street looking at this castle and they have commented how they remember seeing this before, something similar, back in the 80's," Sanda said. "I said 'yea that was Bob Rix, this is honoring his display."

Sanda thinks his friend would be proud of the 2017 version of the display.

"He would love it, he would absolutely love it," he said. "He'd be very pleased."