Hedgesville’s Kesecker family wraps up third year of ‘Kesecker Wonderland’

By Vanta Coda III, RealWV

Every December, Bryan and Carrie Kesecker transform their 2 acre Hedgesville property into a walk-through Christmas light display, affectionately called, “Kesecker Wonderland.”

Although donations are accepted for a truly good cause, community members can view the displays, visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy hot cocoa and snacks at no cost. And while the Kesecker Wonderland finished up its third successful holiday season on Saturday, next year promises to see its growth continue.

Dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Bryan and Carrie Kesecker smile for a family picture at Kesecker Wonderland. Photo by Vanta Coda III, RealWV.

“We started off with a couple of inflatables outside,” said Cheyenne Kesecker, Bryan and Carrie’s daughter. “After my parents got custody of their nephews, my dad started dressing up as Santa Claus, and then it kinda grew into what it is now,” 

After three years — the Keseckers have grown their display from 20 to 200 Christmas inflatables and added thousands of Christmas lights — while also adding characters like the Grinch and Olaf.

A Santa figurine glows in front of a shrub adorned with Christmas lights at Kesecker Wonderland. Photo by Vanta Coda III, RealWV.

“We change up the display, characters and the scenes every year, this year we have Olaf from Frozen,” said Cheyenne. 

Each year, the Keseckers select a family in the community that is in need to receive Christmas gifts purchased with the donations collected at the wonderland. “We don’t keep any of the money, we give it to a family in the community,” said Cheyenne, “Every weekend, we are able to buy the kids gifts with the money that we have raised.”

Alysha Porter and her family walk in front of a reindeer light display. Photo by Vanta Coda III< RealWV.

The Keseckers started these community efforts because they understand the hardships of the holiday season. “ 

Our mom worked three jobs and dad did too and they struggled, but they were able to make it work,” said Bryan Kesecker, Jr. “We were able to grow up because of what they did for us, and what we’ve been able to do together, so now we can share this Christmas joy with others.”

Brooklyn Tasker takes a picture of her eight month old son, Ezra at the Kesecker Wonderland on December 23, in Hedgesville. Photo by Vanta Coda III, RealWV.

After a full month of running the light displays, dressing up Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and giving out hot cocoas to the community — the year’s work is done on Christmas Eve — when the Keseckers can give the presents to the selected family. 

Knowing these hardships themselves, they opt to hide the identity of those who receive the gifts. “The whole point of it is to give without expectation and to try and help people who need it,” said Bryan Jr.

A woman donates to the family that is in need this year, at the Kesecker Wonderland on December 23, in Hedgesville. Photo by Vanta Coda, RealWV.

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