Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas memories day 4: Deacon Dave's

Now that I think about it, we do have a Christmas tradition in our family. Every year, we seek out Deacon Dave's spectacular light display. I don't remember the first time we went, but we've gone every year for probably close to 10 years now. Deacon Dave attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, and I always wonder how he appeases his neighbors. The line to walk through his display sometimes reaches around the block, and the street is usually filled with cars.

As we entered this year's display, I was reminded that Deacon Dave has been opening his beautifully lit home to the public for 30 years now. What I mean to say is, just like me, Deacon Dave's light display is celebrating its 2nd annual 29th birthday!

It seems like just yesterday that we were going to the 25th Anniversary opening night parade and Lliam was just a few months old. As in previous years, tonight was especially cold. I wore a faux fur-lined jacket, a scarf, hat, gloves plus another jacket on top of all that. Lliam was sporting a thick hooded sweatshirt plus his dad's puffy vest. Will thought that Lliam looked like a mini hooded monk, so he told Lliam to act "stoic".

That moment didn't last terribly long, since these two can't avoid tickling each other or making up silly phrases for more than 10 seconds.

Deacon Dave chooses a different theme for his light display every year. I think my all time favorite was the reindeer flight school, complete with an elf-operated air traffic control tower. This year was memorable too. The theme was Elfland. Deacon Dave has a huge crew of helpers and they did a fantastic job creating a bustling Elven village, featuring a barber, dentist, tailor, Elf University, yoga studio, shoe maker and cinemas.

The number of lights used in the display increases every year. This year, there were over 345,000 lights. I heard once that Deacon Dave worked with the power company to have a dedicated transformer installed at his home so that the grid would be able to handle the capacity. I'm really not sure if I want to see his power bill.

Each of the buildings in the display has a cozy scene inside with minute detail that most visitors are likely to gloss over. A troupe of quaint-looking mannequins populates the indoor scenes, and by the looks of them, they have appeared in every display for the last 30 years. 

Some of them are endearing, and some make you scratch your head and wonder if Santa, Spock and Bruce Springsteen had a baby.

Speaking of romance, the light display walk-through includes a bridge over a water feature, on which dozens of marriage proposals have taken place. The display ends with a Christmas blessing that is different each year.

Until next year...

Enjoy more photos on Flickr

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