I'm overly excited to be 8 days and counting down, away from my first show!
It all started 2 years ago when we decided to decorate the 60 foot evergreen in our front yard. Might not sound like much, but we live right on the main street in our town and you can see the tree from about 5 city blocks away and we're from a small town of around 3,000 people. It turned out to be a big deal. We started gathering lights in secret, cleaning out local hardware stores and some big box stores too, all while trying to keep our ideas to ourselves. I finally had everything planned out and started down this slippery slope of holiday decorating, and put out a post on Facebook telling all our friends of our plans. I think I posted that I had amassed some 2500 C7 LED Multicolored lights. We were going to dedicate our tree to everyone in our lives that is no longer with us, and we extended this "Remembrance Tree" to all of our friends, family too. We wanted to bring some joy to anyone that drove by, but also bring good memories to our families during the holidays.
The majority of the responses were that I was crazy, but all were positive. It took me about a week of hanging lights on this tree, in the rain, wind, some snow and sun shine. When I was done I started planning our "Tree Lighting Party". We opened our home and garage with warm cider, hot chocolate and some alcoholic drinks as well, to anyone who wanted to come and help us dedicate this tree. Thinking that maybe 40 or 50 family members would show up, we didn't get too excited. I still can't believe that we ended up with around 150-200 people lining both sides of the main street in front of our house while I gave a speech about why we were lighting this tree. It was simply a magical moment that I will never forget. Simple lights bringing people together for a simple cause.
Skip ahead to this year.....
I decided to take the plunge and picked up 2 controllers at the spring sale, a new laptop and countless other items and haven't looked back. I have been very busy all year since I unplugged last years display. We are at an estimated 12,000 lights this year set to 6 different musical sequences. A few weeks ago we rented a 55' boom lift again to take down all of the lights I had put up last year that were destroyed during the winter winds we had and to rehang the new ones for this year. I had the usual passersby honking and hooting as I was up on top of the tree hanging lights again, and now everyone knows "Its On" again this year. Everyone that asks how its going, I tell them "It will be something to see for sure!"
For this years display I decided to divide the tree into 6 segments from top to bottom, add 12 mini trees in the yard, 19 blow molded candles and some 35W LED Floods. Oh yea, and I built a 7 foot tall star for on top of the tree that is controlled by 3 channels, 2 white and 1 blue. We had to make a custom flag pole style system to hang the star that is semi permanently mounted to the top of the tree. I decided to use this method so I can lower the star to the ground if high winds are predicted and still be able to hoist it back up without having to rent the lift again.
I am still finishing up 2 of the sequences with final tweaks, but I think it will go off without a hitch. I am constantly coming up with ideas at work and running home to see if they look right in the editor, but mostly just trying to get what I have finished on time. I have to run all my SPT wire yet to all my mini trees and candles, but I have off of work next week so I can get it done then. I didn't want to do it too soon and have the neighbor hood kids stealing candles at night either.
I can't wait until next Saturday when I can finally turn everything on and leave it on, without fear of giving too much of the show away before we dedicate it again.
I'll try to get some video's after the dust settles around here once too.