Our Opening Night theme this year was "Shrek the Halls". Shrek, Donkey, and company introduced the new display items for this year. Go to our YouTube Site to see the video.
Extra snow - In addition to the automatic snow from previous years extra snow an be purchased for a 25 cent food drive donation at the coin slot below Rudolf. Quarters only. No snow after 10:00 PM on weeknights. See info sheet next to coin box for more details or go to our Snow Machine Page.
New LEDs on the low bushes - A layer of pure white has been added to the already existing red, blue and green. They really "Pop"!.
Mini Trees - We have added a layer of blue LED's to the existing green ones. Now the mini trees match the Mega Tree in color and we can do more fun effects.
Mega Tree - The 100 bulb incandescent strings on the Mega Tree were replaced by 140 bulb LEDs. All I need to say is this: There was a "gasp" from the Opening Night crowd when we turned on the Mega Tree.
Rear Tree - This is the tree that divides the property line between the two houses (we have no idea what it is). The Rear Tree received an upgrade to pure white LEDs. This tree is so bright at full power, that we actually use it as a work light when we are working on the display at night. Note that we tone it down in most sequences, so it doesn't over-power everything else.
Privet Tree Festival Lights - The festival lights on the privet tree (far right) have new pure white LEDs to match last year's red and green additions.
Streelights - This is a bad change.... The City will no longer allow us to turn off the streetlights. Oh, well. We had a 10 year run....
Streelight strobes - Due to the above change, our bundle of strobes at the top of the streetlights became less dramatic, so we wrapped them from top to bottom on the streetlights. I think it actually looks better than last year.
Rudolf - Rudolf received a new layer of pure white LEDs this year in addition to his white incandescent lights. Some sequences use both colors at the same (it looks good) and Rudolf's role is to act as The White Light Ambassador - to make sure that both kinds of "white" lights can exist in the same display in Peace and Harmony.
LEDs!! - Over 20,000 old lights replaced with new LEDs. Over 4,000 new LEDs. The display is now 55% LEDs.
The Gingerbread Man from Shrek (Gingy) – Initially, Gingy was intended to be a use once and discard character for Opening Night. My original thought was to just make a head. As Ken and I were looking at the photo, I had a thought that it would be fun to make an animated mouth that had two shapes – one being the original smile and the other being the SNL Mr. Bill “Oh, No!” circular mouth. This meant that the head would now need three channels instead of one (one for eyes and eyebrows and one each for each mouth). A case of “scope creep” quickly became “scope sprint” when Ken suggested that since we had enough of the brown wall board, why not make the whole body? We had all the materials. I pulled out the spare red, white and blue LED’s for the American flag and Ken was off and running. I’m a little fuzzy on the man-hours, but I think Ken said it took 6 hours to hot-glue all the LED’s in place. That didn’t include the drilling of all the holes. When we turned Gingy on and saw his animated mouth, we couldn’t stop laughing. We knew at that point that he was going to be in the show for at least this season. In order for him to survive for multiple seasons, he will need some more weather proofing. And… if the American Flag needs its spares, just like in the movie, Gingy might lose a leg….. OHH NOOO!!!
Two new songs - Both of these songs feature our LEDs. Bing Crosby’s White Christmas with mainly all LEDs and Run Run Rudolf with LEDs only.
All other existing songs have been upgraded to take advantage of the new display features (where appropriate), including TSO's "Wizards in Winter", our most popular song.