OKEECHOBEE, Fla. (CBS12) — On Northwest 5th Street in Okeechobee you won't find Santa's Village, you'll discover Ken's Village. 81-year old Kenneth Tyson and his wife Alice have been married for more than 50 years, and about half of that time together has been spent building an elaborate display in their front yard every Christmas.
The Tyson family in Okeechobee builds and paints these wood creations to put up a fabulous Christmas display every year! The 81-year olds live on Northwest 5th Street and do this for the community to enjoy. "We're two peas in a pod," laughed Alice. Using a stencil, vintage plywood, drills and paint, the two create everything from gingerbread families to churches in their workshop."I have all the paint you could ever want. I probably got every color in the rainbow and lot of them aren’t even in the rainbow," shared Kenneth, "We sit there for many hours painting, painting, painting."
The family says they do it all for the community. "People are always asking me ‘Are you gonna put it up this year?" said Kenneth, "Yep, I'm gonna put it up." However, his year brought it's own challenges for the Tyson family. Doctors diagnosed Kenneth with cancer. "Where I got it from I have no idea. But it’s doing OK, they have me on medication. I’m able to sit down and paint," he shared.
That being said, the medication from the Lymphoma makes Kenneth hands shake, and he's unable to paint the small details nor put up the annual display on his own. Fortunately, this year turned into a family affair. The Tyson's two sons came in from California and northern Florida to make sure their village could go up as planned.
"The boys stepped in and said, 'We know you want it done Mom, we’re gonna do it," shared Alice. Making it one of the most special displays to date. Kenneth said, "I love Christmas. My favorite time of the year." The family says they plan to put up the display fir years to come, and next year even plan to build a new bus and gingerbread bank.