Annually the Carter Family puts together a large LED light display synchronized to music. Originally started 2014 in Austin Minnesota the lights were first synchronized to music in 2015.

In 2014, their house had 7,000 LED lights growing to a total of 14,000, 22,500 and 31,000 respectively each year through 2017 (including RGB pixels). In 2018 the Carter’s moved to Albert Lea continuing the show with 34,000 LED lights growing to 38,000 in 2020 and 40,000 LED lights in 2022 (of which 13,000 are RGB) carrying an updated name of “Carter Christmas Lights Show” since 2019.

As reported by the Albert Lea Tribune, “Strings of lights adorn the lawn and trees and wrap around the pillars…with larger-than-life snowflakes and a 16 foot drummer boy” with more added every year. Ultimately, their hope is to add a new fun tradition to the Albert Lea Minnesota region during the holiday season.

Typically the display runs from the Friday after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) through December 30th. In general, the show runs from 5-9pm with it running until 10pm on Fridays & Saturdays along with Christmas Eve/Day.


This display has been built very much in the DIY spirit with Mike building or assembling everything you see. Prior to 2022, the software used to create and run the show was built completely from scratch by Mike. In 2015, there were 32 circuits used (different plugs), growing to 172 circuits in 2022. You can see a photo of the “guts” of a part of the system to the left.

A donation box is located at the corner of the property. All proceeds are donated to a local Southern Minnesota non-profit organization, varying year-to-year. In 2015, the community generously donated over $170, which helped send a local Boy Scout to summer camp. In 2016, the community raised $455 and $758 in 2017 that helped young Girl Scouts attend summer camp. In 2018 the community generously donated $1165 to upgrade downtown Christmas Lights in Albert Lea, in 2019, the community donated $1046 for JDRF to fund research in the fight to eliminate Type 1 Diabetes and in 2020, the community donated $2900 towards the Albert Lea Salvation Army Food Bank.

The display is located at 1905 Brookside Drive, Albert Lea, MN 56007 with the public welcome to come enjoy.



Social Network Connections

Facebook – Carter Christmas Lights Show




Twitter – #carterxmas