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Cochrane man takes Christmas decor to new heights

Clark Griswald is just 'hanging out having a time' in town, thanks to area resident Steve Potter

A man is dangling from the eavestrough of a Cochrane home along Quigley Drive after falling from his ladder while hanging Christmas lights, but there's no need to call the RCMP. 

Resident Steve Potter just decided to step up his holiday decor game this year, much to the delight of his neighbours and passing motorists.

"I've never put too much thought into Christmas decorations and then I thought of this," he said. "But if you're going to do something big, you have to get everyone engaged."

Inspired by the iconic scene in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Potter made himself a Clark Griswald. 

"When you're driving around looking for all the right pieces of what his outfit is going to be, and each item you see, you just know right away and get a big smile on your face," Potter said with a laugh. "You know this item is going to be the game changer." 

Potter constructed Clark to be around his height, a modest 6-3, but when he hung him up in the garage, he quickly realized Clark's reach was well over seven feet. 

"He was way too tall," Potter said. "No one would really be worried about him if he only had to drop down five feet, so I had to shorten him like a foot." 

Potter said he has had several neighbours and just people driving by stop and comment on the installation. 

"It's bringing a lot of joy to a lot of people," he said. "At first, you walk by this and you get a bit of a panic, then you go into rescue mode, then you get a sudden relief know that it's just Clark hanging out having a time."

His neighbour, he recalled, thought he was being rather lazy at first when they noticed just one string of lights hung. But when Potter turned out the spotlight to show the rest of his work, his neighbour came over in stitches. 

"My dad is 80-years-old and when I was hanging Clark up I have never heard him giggle like that," Potter said. "That made it worth it right there."

A photo of his display was shared on the local Cochrane Rants and Raves Facebook page and several residents chimed in to share their thoughts. 

"I saw this on my way to work this morning and pulled over thinking I needed to help," one user wrote. 

After Tuesday night's windstorm (Nov. 30), another wrote: "Suspect with this wind, he is hanging out in another neighbourhood hanging lights." 

Potter said he's already thinking about what he should do next year. 

Do you have an incredible Christmas display you want us to know about? Email us at


Caitlin Clow

About the Author: Caitlin Clow

Caitlin is the editor of the Okotoks Western Wheel and Cochrane Eagle. She graduated from Mount Royal's Journalism program in 2015 and has worked for The Canadian Press, The Globe and Mail, Postmedia and Black Press.
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