STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — It’s a celebration of appreciation. Folks came from all around just for a shot to wave at one special guy.
"After 30 years you kind of develop an internal clock, you don’t have to look at the calendar you just know what you’re supposed to do and when you do it,” said Christmas enthusiast Dan Haog.
Hoag lives in Strongsville and during the Christmas season his house is usually decked out. Lights everywhere, decorations galore and thousands of people come from all over just to check it out.
But not this year.
“Well, my life wasn’t challenging enough, I thought I’d get cancer,” said Hoag.
He was diagnosed in January, started chemotherapy in March and had his last chemo treatment on Labor Day, the day he usually starts putting up all his lights.
"I hope it touches his heart because he’s definitely touched ours over the years,” said Tracy Zawie, the event organizer.
Dozens of cars filled with families, neighbors and fellow Christmas lovers honked and cheered as they passed Hoag’s home. Folks decorated their cars and did a drive-by parade to show Hoag that he’s loved.
"Actually, I'm quite touched and surprised,” he said. "You're never really sure if they’re happy with you or they’re mad because of all the traffic and all the people.”
Just like every year, he’s raising money for others.
Neighbors tried to give the funds to him, but he refused. Instead, Hoag is looking forward to next year when he hopes to have his health and Christmas display back on track.
“It’s going to be good,” said Hoag. “I actually have a brand-new item, I’m not going to tell you what it is, but no one’s ever seen that before.”