Cars will arrive at 6:30, and we will be giving rides from 7-8:30 for the same $10 donation as last year. Currently we have 7 cars signed up, in a variety of colors and at least one will be "topless". We gave 31 rides last year, and we will be a little better organized this year. Plus we will be offering the "freeway on-ramp experience" for an additional $20. Bake sale items and hot chocolate will be available for food drive donations as well.
Camaros Limited - Saturday December 18th 2010
Come see 5 different generations of the famous Chevy Camaro as the NorCal chapter of Camaros Limited visits our display at 7:00 PM.
Harker School sophomore, Raghav Sehtia will be selling baked goods and hot chocolate on these nights with proceeds also going to the Food Drive. Raghav will also be out on many Friday and Saturday nights during our busy time (7:00-8:30 PM) beginning on Saturday 12-4.
How to avoid the crowds
It's common sense, but it's always very crowded the three days before Christmas. Weekends are more crowded than weeknights. Earlier in the season is better than later, but if you wait until the week after Christmas, the crowds start thinning. Crowds also increase on days that we receive press (also that following weekend). Crowds tend to peak between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm. From 8:00 to 8:30 pm every night we do a non-Christmas playlist that includes "Boom Boom, out go the lights!", and "Dueling Banjos" (the two houses duel). If you only want to hear Christmas music then you should avoid this time as it is typically crowded and you won't get to see what you came for. See the Playlist page for more details on what songs play when.
The best way to view the display
On busy nights, we recommend that you park around the corner at the Nursing Home (Manor Care on Tilton) and walk down Utica to our display. Each year the houses on Utica get more and more beautiful. You'll enjoy the houses on Utica, and then you'll come around the corner on Tangerine and BAM, there it is! The display is so large that you cannot see the whole thing from your car. There are sidewalk speakers in the two magnolia trees for your listening enjoyment. Or, you can bring personal fm radios and stand across the street (better view of the whole display). Plan to stay for a half hour or so. Bring some coffee or hot chocolate. Dress warm, it's cold out there! The playlist is almost 90 minutes long. We typically do five animated songs and then one song with all the lights on (good for photos). Also, there is a corny Christmas joke as told by some of our lawn animals every 4 songs or so. Stay and listen to a few songs. Our most popular song, Wizards in Winter plays every 45 minutes. See the playlist for times. Playlists are also available at our information box.
For Parents (and grandparents)
We love kids. We do this for kids. But we need your help. Please try to keep your children off the grass. We try hard to make the display neat and clean and many of the wires are not visible. Your children will trip and fall. In addition, power cords are usually unplugged when they are tripped on and that makes the display less enjoyable for everyone.
The snow machine (driveway under Rudolf): The kids LOVE the snow. By all means, let them play in it. The snow coming out of the machine is Meguire's Gold car wash soap. Not the best fragrance, but clean! And even though the snow is soap, the ground is not slippery. We know that the kids would love for the snow machine to be going 24x7, but it's loud and we go through 2 gallons of "fluid" a night as it is. Also, the motor will burn up under continuous use. There are two songs that use the snow machine all the time:
The Chipmunk Song Remember - Trans Siberian Orchestra
Here are some others that use snow some of the time:
Wizards in Winter - Trans Siberian Orchestra Blue Decorations - BB King I Wish it was Christmas Today - Horatio Sanz & Muppets SNL Jingle Bells - Brian Setzer Orchestra Most of the non Christmas songs in the Rock n' Roll half hour at 8:00 pm.
The Playlist now lists songs with snow. As an added feature, Rudolf's nose indicates upcoming snow! Rudolf's nose will blink for 3 seconds at the beginning of any song that uses snow and his nose will also start blinking 10 seconds before the snow machine turns on. You can either keep this to yourself and make your children think you are amazing and know EVERYTHING when you tell then the snow will be coming, or you can give them the secret and watch them run for the driveway when they see his nose blink.
And.... I hate to mention it, but it happened. One night we heard banging in the garage. I went into the garage and I could hear banging on the garage door and kids chanting "We want snow, we want snow!!" I went out the side gate and saw about 5 kids kicking the garage door while their parents were standing around watching.
So.... Please don't stand and watch your kids kick our garage door.
New for 2009: A coin slot where kids can "buy" extra snow for a 25 cent food drive donation. See snow machine page for more details.
If you don't want to leave your car
Again, common sense, but please don't park/stop in the middle of the street. It's best to park on the opposite side of the street because the display is so long that if you get too close, you only see a small portion and it blocks the view of others. There is no one spot that allows you to see the whole display from your car. The most popular spot is to park at the corner of the court across from us with your car pointed straight at the display. But even from this spot, you can't see the American flag, and the star over the house (blocked by Magnolia tree). If it's crowded and not raining, its best to park around the corner and walk the sidewalk. Because once the kids see the snow machine, they will want out of the car anyway.....
Please be courteous and safe
Drive slowly and carefully. There are kids everywhere. Our neighbors are very important to us and so far have been very supportive. We react swiftly to neighbor issues. Please be respectful and follow these do's and don'ts:
Don't roll down your windows and crank up your music. Don't honk. Don't make hard, fast u-turns in the court. Don't park in the opposite direction at the curbs. Don't let your kids run on the grass. Don't yell or scream. Don't litter.
Do let your kids play in the snow. Do bring food donations (money donations are matched). Do cheer and clap. Do have a great time!