2011 Christmas Show Updates

January 5th, 2012

We collected 663 pounds of food! In addition, check out the video clips for how the many visitors Please keep watch here for updates as the year progresses!

January 1st, 2012

The Light show is now offline till next year. Many, many thanks for everyone who enjoyed our light show. We will post here the total amount found when it is dropped off on Jan 3rd! In addition, check out the video clips for a 2011 version of "A Christmas Festival" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" being uploaded here very soon available now!! Please keep watch here for updates as the year progresses!

November 30th, 2011 -- The Show is on!

The Light Show is back! Two new songs have been added -- a humorous rendition of the 12 days of Christmas by Straight No Chasers, and a new renovated version of Mannheim Steamroller's "God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen"

2010 Christmas Show Updates

January 2nd, 2010 -- The Light Show is Offline

Due to a break in the winter weather (warmer temperatures and no rain or snow the next few days) we are taking advantage of that time to bring the lights inside. We have taken in over 500 pounds of food for the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank, thanks to the gracious generocity of the, estimated, over 1,000 people that have visited since it opened up on Thanksgiving Weekend.

December 27th, 2010 -- ALL Videos are now up

All the videos of the Light Show are now up and Online! Check them out here!

December 26th, 2010 -- Videos are now up

Videos are being produced and uploaded tonight for online viewing for those who can not make it to the display this year. Please feel free to share with others!

December 24th, 2010 -- Welcome Changes!

We have added "A Soldier's Silent Night" as another song selection as a tribute to the many men and women serving their country in our armed forces.

December 14th, 2010 -- Winner of the Best Lights Display in Frederickburg!

We are the winner of the Frederickburg's Free Lance Star "Grand Holiday Displays" contest, with a full article and pictures about us! Click here to see the article online!

November 26th, 2010 -- We're Open!

The show is up and running! Come on by and enjoy the show before the rush hits!

2009 Christmas Show Updates

November 25th, 2009 -- OPENING DATE CHANGE

Due to very rainy weather in November, the light show opening is delayed until Friday, December 4th. Some elements were delayed due to weather, but everything will be ready by then, if not earlier.

November 10th, 2009

Been a while since the last update, but things have TOTALLY changed, for the better.

  • The display has been moved from my house to my parents house (6 miles away from last year's site) -- with a MUCH bigger house and yard.
  • The display will have 14,000 lights, many of them LEDs, with most elements being 4 colors each!
  • The crappy "Whole House Transmitter" we used last year is gone, replaced with a much better transmitter.
  • A finalized song list is as follows:
    1. Holiday Opening (edited), Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops
    2. Deck the Halls, Mannheim Steamroller
    3. Decorations, Bob Rivers
    4. Wizards in Winter, Trans Siberian Orchestra/TSO
    5. Holly Jolly Christmas, Burl Ives
    6. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, Mannheim Steamroller
    7. Manger 6, Bob Rivers
    8. Duelling Jingle Bells, US Navy Band
    9. Christmas Eve, Sarajevo, Trans Siberian Orchestra/TSO
    10. Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Carpenters
    11. Blue Christmas, Porky Pig
    12. Fairies (Nutcracker), Mannheim Steamroller
    13. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Brenda Lee
    14. Silent Night (Stile Nacht), Mannheim Steamroller
    15. A Christmas Festival, Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops

March 6th, 2009

The past two months have been mind-racking. We've gone through design idea after design idea, creating ideas and discarding them the next day, as a rule. We have finally come up with our 99.9% finalized plan. Here is a mock-up of it:

The basic design principle is this: Everything in the display is going to be in 4 colors -- red, green, blue and white, with a few exceptions (roof lights on the garage, the candy canes, and the wireframe standees -- the angel, drummer and Santa and the reindeer in the yard). Each window in the house, the sidelights in the door, all of the mini-trees in the yard, the two bigger light-trees, the sides of the driveway, and the spotlights that will illuminate the house will be 4 colors.

The bad news: the cost of doing this is the number of channels. We will need over 221 channels (that is 14 controller boxes) to do what we want to do. To that end, we have already purchased 11 additional controllers (to add to our 3 existing ones), giving us 14 controllers/224 channels. One of these will be set aside as a spare in case of problems, so we need to get one or two more over the next few months.

We are planning an order for the LED lights that will be used in the display, that will give us a total of anywhere between 14,000 and 15,000 lights. Because LED lights use so little power, we will NOT need to order extra electrical power to the house.

Because everything is so finalized, I can finally start with the task of choosing what music to include, and start sequencing it for Christmas. With the number of lights and almost infinite possibilities for effects, I will be having fun. Tenatively, I'm hoping to have about 20-30 songs ready to go. A song list will be posted here when final selections have been made.

Let the fireworks begin!

January 8th, 2009

Christmas clean-up has not finished yet. It has rained a lot in the past few days, which means that anything brought in would be packed in boxes and containers while wet. That would not be ideal. So, we're waiting for things to dry out before they are brought inside.

Here is the inspiration for our 2009 design. Since we don't have a lot of yard room to play with, we feel we needed to add the main house into the play. We were browsing Youtube and saw this. This video got our attention, so that is our basis for our upcoming design. Wow!

Today, I worked up a plan on paper, which outlines a basic plan as to what can be done with our base number of LOR controllers. We are looking at a minimum of 8 boxes (128 channels) for a decent light show. Extra features that we want to add have a price: extra controller boxes. The ultimate setup we want has 14 or more boxes. However, the extra features we will be adding will make everything worth it. Once I have it sketched out on the computer, I'll link to the big plan here.

Also, look in the next few months for planning for a Halloween show, with headstones, spooky lights, and other fun things of the sort. By no means will it be as complicated or as intricate as the Christmas show, but I believe it will make for a good Halloween spooktacular that I have been dreaming about having for years :)

January 2nd, 2009

A very informative day. We found out that Walmart had all Christmas lights on sale for 75% off. We grabbed a lot -- over 7,000 lights. At 75% off, we might as well get them locally, as cheap as we can, while they are still on the shelf! We got many LED lights, but also a lot of regular mini-lights. Why get so many when we are not going to use them in the main displays?

Well, when we make our own displays using coroplast (the same weatherproof material that those political signs and those roadside 'stick in the ground' signs you see), we will be using regular mini-lights, because they are cheaper, and they fit through the material a lot better. Having a few hundred mini lights is not bad, especially if the rest of the display is using super power-saving LEDs.

Speaking of coroplast, a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet can cost anywhere from $30 per sheet up to $80 per sheet. However, we found a local supplier just today in the Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Stafford, Virginia area that does signs, etc, that has any number of sheets, in MANY colors, locally, for only $12.50 a sheet!

Actually, he gets people visiting him who build guinea pig cages using coroplast. That is how we discovered his sign making business. The owners, Mike and Carol Lucas, are VERY friendly and answered all of our questions with zeal. We were very impressed! Here is a free plug for them:

Creative Signs, Ltd
1231 Kings Highway
Fredericksburg, VA 22405

Phone: (540)899-0032, Fax: (540)899-2959

Email address: CreativeSignsLtd, followed by aol.com

For those of you in the area, you go on Rt 3 East, past the Ferry Farm Walmart, and head towards Dahlgren. If you have a GPS unit, it helps, as you need to need to do a U-turn as they are on the opposite side of Route 3 that you are on. :)

We will begin dismantling the lights outside this weekend. The question of storing all this new stuff...well... that will the the subject of the next entry.

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