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Residents of Billings are awestruck by the Christmas show known as “Lights on Oasis”



Billings, Montana – A total of 115.2 million passengers are anticipated to travel at least 50 miles away from their home base during the travel season that occurs around the end of the year, according to AAA. Homecomings for the holidays were held at the airport in Billings during the entire day on Saturday.

When it comes to the holidays, there is no place more comfortable than home.

“It’s been a little bit too long,” said Michael Stevens, a Livingston father waiting to pick up his son at the airport, on Saturday. “It’s probably (been) a year at least.”

Throughout this narrative, love, yearning, and the allure of holiday homecomings are the central themes.

“It’s been forever since I’ve seen (my family). Probably about 2 years now,” said Augustine Hill, who flew into Billings from Indiana on Saturday. “I’m here to visit my grandma and my grandpa. Basically all my family. They live here.”

In their quest to capture rare moments and memories that would last a lifetime, wanderers braved the stress of the festive season.

The Stevens family left Livingston early on Saturday morning and traveled to Billings-Logan International Airport (BIL) to pick up their son, who was arriving from Arizona. The airport is located in Billings.

“Mostly having him here at my house,” Stevens said when asked what he looked forward to while his son was home.

One of the most exciting things for them is a one-of-a-kind holiday tradition.

“We’re going down to Yellowstone Hot Springs. Every year, my kids come up. At least some of my kids, I have five of them,” Stevens said. “But my oldest boy, he comes up. (It’s our) tradition to go over to the hot springs. Chill out.”

Cliff Miller and Wim Lienemann, a couple from Fromberg, have been dating since 2008, at which point they have become accustomed to traveling for extended periods. A job is held by Cliff. INR — BILLINGS Every year, the ritual, which has been going on for fifteen years, gets a little bit bigger. ‘Lights on Oasis’ is a Christmas show in the Billings Heights neighborhood that features more than 50,000 lights that dance in time to music. The installation is comprised of seven residences at this time.

“Probably our fourth time back now,” said Billings resident Sunny Cobb with her two-year-old grandson Elliot Asher on Wednesday.

The ‘Lights on Oasis’ restaurant, located at 641 Oasis Drive, is difficult to avoid.

“It’s so fun that the music goes along and dances. The lights dance to the music,” Cobb said.

The tradition of Ken Kantorowicz’s Christmas celebration began more than a decade ago, and it was inspired by those lights that danced.

“My son was saying, oh those look cool ‘cuz we looked at some that were to music. And he thought, that would be a neat idea,” Kantorowicz said.

When Kantorowicz had that brilliant notion, he turned it into a year-long pastime.

“We did our yard for quite a while and then the neighbor next to us, we’re good friends, so we decided we can grow into that yard. The one across the street decided they wanted to help, maybe, that looked kind of cool?” said Kantorowicz.

‘Lights on Oasis’ has snowballed into seven houses this year and with over 50,000 lights, it’s no wonder they were voted the winner of last year’s Billings Lights Competition.

“The money we got for that, we actually installed the new sign in the neighbor’s yard,” Kantorowicz said.

With the majority of the decorations being homemade, including the new sign that they constructed with the prize money from the previous year, they are able to captivate everyone who walks through the door.

“It’s just beautiful to sit and look at. Tomorrow we’re going to bring my 83-year-old mother to look at this,” said Billings resident Traci Heath.

“We’re going to make this a family tradition every year. Coming and looking at these lights for sure,” Cobb said.

Kantorowicz begins decorating as early as Halloween to ensure that everything is presented appropriately.

“The coolest thing I think is over Halloween when all the little kids come up for trick or treat. We get so many of them say ‘Oh, I love your Christmas lights.’ That gets us in the Christmas spirit, gets us going and ready to put the lights up,” said Kantorowicz.

During the Billings Lights Competition that took place this year, it was a hobby that performed exceptionally well, earning third place.

“We’ve already started planning next year, I already have a couple of ideas I want to do. I just can’t wait to get started on them,” Kantorowicz said.

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