By Morgan Bryce
Nearly every square inch of Joseph Sides’s front yard is covered with fall decorations, an annual tradition that began nearly 20 years ago.
The Opelika resident started the display with one hay bale, potted mum plant and pumpkin. Sides adds new pieces to the display each year, which he said he believes one of, if not the biggest in Lee County.
“When people ask my why I do this, I tell them that if I get one wow it’s all worth it. It’s worth my time,” Sides said.
Sides purchases several Atlantic Giant pumpkins and other items for his display from a farm he visit in Tennessee each September.
When Sides returns, he begins the set-up process, which takes several days. He constructed nearly all of the wooden structures himself, including the outhouse, which is a crowd-favorite attraction. Other unique features are the abundance of Auburn University signs and a deer pulling a scarecrow-driven wagon laden with hay and small pumpkins.
Last year marked the first time that Sides has not put up the display, because he was helping take care of his wife after her shoulder-replacement procedure.
While costs may continue to increase, Sides said he plans to continue setting up the display in the future as long as his physical health allows.
“A lot of the kids that first started coming here are teenagers now … so hopefully one day when they have kids they can pass the tradition down (to another generation),” Sides said.
Sides’s home is located at 1103 Tatum Ave., and guests are welcomed to explore the display and take pictures day or night. There is no charge for admission. The display will remain open until the Friday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29).