Where and why did this all begin?
I'm sure this all started because we lived in a townhouse for way too long (10 years). The possibility to decorate outside was just not there. We moved into this house early in 2002, and as soon as we were settled in, the planning began. My wife was unaware that I was totally nuts at that point, however, she is very aware now.
That first year we were quite proud of ourselves for putting up over 4,000 lights. I believe that was when the neighbors first started to curse the day that we moved in. Little did they know what was in store...
2003 brought the grand total to over 11,000 lights. We discovered even at this number, (low by many standards), I had to make some serious adjustments in my life to get everything up on time. Much work later, we feel it was a pretty good display. In 2004, we cleared the 30,000 barrier, but it took 1 1/2 weeks vacation, plus a lot of help. For the 2005 season, we managed to beat 42,000, but it did take the entire month. From 2006 to 2008 we hit almost 52,000, but we had lots of help. 2009 and 2010 saw our totals drop, as we began the LED conversion. It will likely continue to drop until the changeover is complete, then we anticipate the numbers to go back up.
Where are we going from here?
2012 will see the display again grow into the neighbors yard. You will notice quite a change from past years shows. The arches and large tree will be there of course, but most of the smaller features are gone. In addition, 100% of the music will be new. We are going to continue to raise money for Camp Goodtimes. Our (my) ultimate goal is 250,000 lights and opening up the back yard. I'm sure we are several years away from that. NOTE: This is not Cindy's goal. 2013 and beyond...who knows?
Why do we keep doing this?
Many times during the setup I wonder this myself. Mostly, it's when I'm 6 feet up a ladder being pelted by horizontal rain or hail. Here are some letters we received that keep us motivated. We receive quite a few of these, but these ones kind of say it all. It's nice to see that our efforts don't go unnoticed.
Please Email us with any ideas or suggestions you may have.
Dan, Cindy, & Kyle.