Mike Justak’s legacy of shimmering Christmas lights is still shining brightly this holiday season — the expansive display just moved a couple blocks away in the Plymouth neighborhood.
Justak, who has lived with Parkinson’s disease since 2004, decided to stage his own light show in 2010 after being inspired by actor Michael J. Fox, who started a foundation for Parkinson’s research after he came down with the disease.
In eight years, Justak has raised almost $100,000 for Parkinson’s research, partly through donation boxes in his yard.
“All of the money goes to Parkinson’s, not the lights or the electricity to run the show,” he said.
As his disease progressed, Justak announced last year that he was unable to continue with the light show.
Enter neighbor Matt Dunn, who heard that Justak was canceling his show and stopped by after Christmas, wondering how he might help.
“Mike has done a tremendous amount of work on it over the years,” said Dunn, a magician who also owns Screamtown. “I asked if he’d be OK with moving the show a few blocks to my neighborhood and adding the Dayton’s window scenes.”
Justak was ecstatic to have help with the time-intensive show. It can take six to 10 hours to program just one minute of the music and light synchronization, he said. This year he’s added music from “Minions,” a Hanukkah mix and Neil Diamond, who also has Parkinson’s.
The combined show with Justak’s 60,000 lights and music and Dunn’s figurines from an elf house, “Cinderella” and “Wind in the Willows” runs from 5 to 10 p.m. daily through Dec. 28 near 4100 Juneau Lane N. The light and sound masters have two donation boxes set out, one for Parkinson’s and one for Meals on Wheels in Plymouth and Wayzata.
For more information, go to PDShimmers.com.
HOM expands into central Wisconsin
HOM Furniture said this week it expects to open its first store in Wausau, Wis., sometime this spring or early summer, expanding its reach across the Upper Midwest.
It will be the third store in Wisconsin for the Coon Rapids-based furniture company, which operates 15 HOM Furniture stores in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
The new 110,000-square-foot site will inhabit a former Younkers department store at the downtown Wausau Mall, an anchor location that was shuttered in April by parent company Bon-Ton due to bankruptcy. HOM purchased the space from owners S&B Detrick Limited Partnership.
In a statement, HOM President and Chief Executive Rodney Johansen called the central Wisconsin community the “perfect location” and well within the company’s distribution network.
The company will open a new store in Brooklyn Center at the end of December, which will be its first new HOM Furniture location since opening in Little Canada in 2015.