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JeffF

When do you just stop...

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Lately I've just not been feeling the lights like I used to. It's probably just me but flat out, I think people are more dumb, more rude, and just overall more ungrateful now. We don't have a great location for a display but people have helped us make it work in the past. Not stopping in the middle of the road and turning their lights off is a great start but also being courteous to the constant flow of people pulling into and out of our driveway(which we encourage whole heatedly) has been a royal PIA this year. Not sure but we think our location has been shared a bunch of places even though we beg and plead with people not to do that(again, due to the not great location). It's kind of a running joke how we beg to not be popular but it's worked for us in the past so we've stuck with it.

Not this year though. Right from the beginning we could tell new people were visiting the display. The amount of people stopping in the road with lights off... pulling ACROSS our driveway instead of into it(even though we have announcements and two banners telling people we love them in our driveway!)... the amount of people who park in the driveway for up to 10 minutes at a time WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE OFF... the people coming up to our door to ask when the lights will be turned on(even though the website and banners and sometimes the 4'x16' RGB display all say the hours)... it's been a little much this year to say the least.

The final straw tonight was I was trying to visit with some friends out in the driveway and I put a few songs on for them. They loved the lights and we were talking during the lights and during the darkness between lights. People started parking in the road again... parking right behind us with headlights on(mind you, this is when there are no songs playing so there are no display lights on)... etc. Not really digging all this activity I put our "Sorry, no lights tonight..." sequence on which shows on our 4'x16' RGB display.  Well because there were two cars in the driveway(me and my friends) people were still stopping. We got honked at to pull forward(again, while "Sorry, no lights tonight..." is streaming across that huge display on our house). Then we actually had someone get out of their van and say "Ummmm, can you please pull forward... I have a van full of children..."(again, "Sorry, no lights tonight..." is lighting in all it's glory). This last one made me blurt out to my friends who were shocked at all the people stopping... "Yeah, and I have a few children in my house here, so "fudging" what?". :( 

This is our 10th and probably last year I fear. Our location just can't support what people have turned into. Early on in my lighting career I learned that TV news stories were horrible for us here but that was easy to put an end to. Now the problem we are currently having I can't see a way out off. People are only getting worse and I fear what they'll be like in another couple years.

I posted tonight on the website that we will probably be ending the lights here for good and that in 2018 we will definitely be taking a break. I'd love to find a public location that can support an endless line of cars but I doubt that will happen...

Ugh...

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WOW sorry to hear your have such troubles with traffic! Might be a good thing to take a break for a season and then do a smaller display later on...

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This is the second story like this I've seen just this week.  There was another light show here in the Twin Cities that shut down for similar reasons.    It's sad state of affairs where people are becoming so rude and disrespectful.

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You gotta manage the problem and not let it manage you.....we have significant traffic come thru our neighborhood...more than 10,000 cars so far since Black Friday...we manage the traffic just fine with 5 people and a bunch of traffic cones.  If someone is doing something stupid/wrong, we address it right then. To me closing down means the jerks wins....that will never happen at my light show.

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I understand what you are saying but personally I feel I donate enough of my time over the 3 month lighting season(from start to finish). If I have to babysit people outside every night then yep, I'm out.  Which that is the point I think we are at unfortunately. :(

You folks that have massive traffic flow plans and volunteers to implement these plans are way, WAY more dedicated than me. I can see maybe doing this sort of thing if I were retired and didn't have a day job but I just can't be out there all the time. Not only "can't" but I don't *want* to be either. The fun part of the hobby for me is actually watching our lights. I love grabbing a few beers and sitting in my truck watching the lights and watching people watch our lights. Kids and old people are my favorite because their faces light up the same. :D

Oh well... I can tell my mind is made up to end our lights just how I'm typing here. It seems my mind is at ease with the thought so I'm 99% sure I've answered my own question on whether or not it's time. It's been a GREAT hobby for sure and I've met some GREAT people here so thanks LOR!

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John Storms on his listentooutlights.com  page has a nice "traffic management plan" document.  One of his tricks is to only have the show running x minute per hour.  That allosw the neightborhood to clear out  from all the cars. 

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7 hours ago, JeffF said:

I understand what you are saying but personally I feel I donate enough of my time over the 3 month lighting season(from start to finish). If I have to babysit people outside every night then yep, I'm out.  Which that is the point I think we are at unfortunately. :(

You folks that have massive traffic flow plans and volunteers to implement these plans are way, WAY more dedicated than me. I can see maybe doing this sort of thing if I were retired and didn't have a day job but I just can't be out there all the time. Not only "can't" but I don't *want* to be either. The fun part of the hobby for me is actually watching our lights. I love grabbing a few beers and sitting in my truck watching the lights and watching people watch our lights. Kids and old people are my favorite because their faces light up the same. :D

Oh well... I can tell my mind is made up to end our lights just how I'm typing here. It seems my mind is at ease with the thought so I'm 99% sure I've answered my own question on whether or not it's time. It's been a GREAT hobby for sure and I've met some GREAT people here so thanks LOR!

All of us that put on Santa Claus Lane have full-time jobs too.  It sad for your community that you have decided to turn off the lights for good, but if your heart isnt into it, then it is what it is.  Maybe in the future things will change and you can return.  Merry Christmas!

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It may very well be time to shut it down at your home, but I wouldn't give up on finding another location nearby that is better suited. It doesn't necessarily have to be a public place. Maybe a local business would be interested.

If you're simply tired of the setup/tear down etc., that's a different matter. If it truly is strictly dealing with people and traffic don't rule out another location without at least talking to some people first.

Merry Christmas!

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20 hours ago, mpageler said:

John Storms on his listentooutlights.com  page has a nice "traffic management plan" document.  One of his tricks is to only have the show running x minute per hour.  That allosw the neightborhood to clear out  from all the cars. 

GOTA say.. GREAT IDEA !!!!!! +1 in so many ways

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And I'll argue the other side.  Doesn't sound like something I'd appreciate very much if I drove for an hour and got there with a car full of kids three minutes after the hourly show ended. 

Unless everyone who's waiting leaves in disgust rather than hanging around for the next hour, how exactly does that clear out all the cars?

Edited by George Simmons
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23 hours ago, Say watt?? said:

If you're simply tired of the setup/tear down etc., that's a different matter. If it truly is strictly dealing with people and traffic don't rule out another location without at least talking to some people first.

Merry Christmas!

I definitely don't mind the setup and tear down. This year I enjoyed it more than ever... it was a bit more difficult than years past but just seeing everything once it's together is very gratifying.

I would definitely like to continue to do something, somewhere. I have a friend who owns a business and I'm wracking my brain to figure out how to decorate his building. Traffic shouldn't be an issue there but the display would have to be unique since he doesn't have any "yard".

And no offense meant by the "job" comment... if folks want to dedicate their free time to managing traffic more power to them! That's just not something I find appealing. I spend enough time replacing my incandescent bulbs so I couldn't imagine having to be outside 3 or 4 hours a night too! :)

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21 hours ago, JeffF said:

And no offense meant by the "job" comment... if folks want to dedicate their free time to managing traffic more power to them! That's just not something I find appealing. I spend enough time replacing my incandescent bulbs so I couldn't imagine having to be outside 3 or 4 hours a night too! :)

Well for us, managing the traffic also allows us time to talk to the folks that come out and see us.  There have been so many blessings just by doing that it makes all the time, money and effort worth it all.  People are in awe of the music and lights and many get emotional during the show.  It touches their heart and many times, reminds them of days in the past.  It makes new memories and traditions for families as well.  What an honor to be a part of that!  So I will suggest that maybe you try it for an hour some evening, maybe you might have a different opinion afterwards  :-)  Merry Christmas!

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Heh, had a Sheriff honk at me today while I was shoveling snow. He stopped to say how much he and his family liked the display, they've been coming for years and he thanked me for doing it.  When I told him I was calling it quits and then explained how crazy/stupid the traffic has been he totally agreed. LOL. He said he's come by a few times this year and couldn't believe how idiotic people were being. The whole situation sucks, I know... but I was glad someone else saw the same thing I've been seeing and can understand. With him being a Sheriff I'm sure he's also noticed this "idiocracy" in his day job. :D

On 12/24/2017 at 11:02 AM, mpageler said:

Trista Lights  TV News Segment

Here's a local TV segment on Trista Lights in Twin Cities, pulling the plug  because of traffic.

 

Thanks for the link. I always wondered "who" Trista Lights was. :) Can't believe Christmas light party buses are a thing... how stupid... :(

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The limo/party bus thing for Christmas lights are a huge thing. My buddy owns one of those companies and this is his best time for money making. So I see the desire to do it. But they can be loud and the drivers are aholes I have had them block my view by parking in the middle of the road. 

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On 12/24/2017 at 10:02 AM, mpageler said:

Trista Lights  TV News Segment

Here's a local TV segment on Trista Lights in Twin Cities, pulling the plug  because of traffic.

 

this why unless you can handle the traffic or are in a neighborhood you shouldn't be on GCLF.

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Thought I'd update this thread with a bit of good news... for 2018 I'm going to do a display for a buddy of mine at his local business(Robot City Games in Binghamton, NY). He has two huge front display windows(approximately 8'x20' each) and a huge front facade that I can attach items to or hang items off. There is also a flat roof above this that we may or may not try to get some 10' trees going on. :) The best part is there is a large municipal parking lot right across the street so traffic shouldn't be an issue! Finally... FINALLY!!! :D

I've helped this friend in the past with his arcade and front display lighting(we have ~50 10w RGB floods all over the place inside) and we actually work well together. Keeping my fingers crossed this will work out well(for both of us)!

Just look at this blank slate... can't wait to get things designed!

RobotCityGames-front.jpg

 

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Giant Slate Chalkboard  (for those old enough to remember not White or Green)

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6 hours ago, JeffF said:

Thought I'd update this thread with a bit of good news... for 2018 I'm going to do a display for a buddy of mine at his local business(Robot City Games in Binghamton, NY). He has two huge front display windows(approximately 8'x20' each) and a huge front facade that I can attach items to or hang items off. There is also a flat roof above this that we may or may not try to get some 10' trees going on. :) The best part is there is a large municipal parking lot right across the street so traffic shouldn't be an issue! Finally... FINALLY!!! :D

I've helped this friend in the past with his arcade and front display lighting(we have ~50 10w RGB floods all over the place inside) and we actually work well together. Keeping my fingers crossed this will work out well(for both of us)!

Just look at this blank slate... can't wait to get things designed!

RobotCityGames-front.jpg

 

Ah Binghamton, I used to go there to party with friends and attend the Battle of the bands. Late 70's early 80's. Graduated from the old Corning East. 

Best of luck, hope it all works out.

JR

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Great news! You sound really pumped about. A perfect venue for an animated light display. 

That flat roof......I can see cool things happening up there. There's just something appealing about putting stuff where it really shouldn't be. Put as much up there as you can!

Good luck and thanks in advance for the pics and video when it's up and running. ;)

 

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