Out in the middle of nowhere in northwest Oregon (not too far from us) is a most amazing synchronized light display. Although we heard about it some years ago (it began in 2002), last night was the first time we drove out to see it, thanks to a recommendation from friend Carol.
Craig Newton was in high school when he took over the Christmas light decorating at his parent's house. Now he has graduated from college with a degree in computer science. And the light display synchronized to music that Craig started in 2002 has expanded each year until now it includes a snowball fight, a talking polar bear, a jillion more lights and displays, plus a low power emitter so viewers can sit in the warmth of their cars (we did) and listen to the music and commentary on 98.3 fm radio.
From a story in McMinnville's News Register some years ago:
"A train with a wagon full of gifts puffs away on the left side of the yard while a couple of angels flap their wings in opposing trees. An arch proclaiming "Happy Holidays" stands over the driveway, flanked by snowmen. Two drum beaters on the right are joined by a guitar player. A herd of reindeer is running toward the road, another is grazing. And every tree in the yard is covered by lights. Every single one."
Craig, with the help of family and friends, starts stringing lights in October so the 18 minute show can open soon after December 1st. It runs through New Year's, over and over from 5 to 9:30 every night. To see everything that's going on, you almost have to watch the whole show several times. Signs direct cars to parking areas. What a fun gift to the community it is!
And, the first of January, Craig starts working on the next year's always-expanded show.
http://www.newtonlights.com/index.html has directions on how to get there (the house and yard sits alone at the edge of fields on a country road near the little town of Amity), information on each year's show, the music (also varied from year to year), and a guest book. The website has photos, but they don't give you a sense of the live, moving production with its synchronized music.
We hope to bring grandkids to see it next week, when they arrive for Christmas.